contents of distraction
As a general rule, I like the stuff that Deep Elm puts out — it’s the only label I know of which actively promotes itself as “emo” and doesn’t seem to care about the connotations of such a genre tag. As such, its music always seems heartfelt and well-supported. But even the best label can’t save a group from mediocrity, and desert.city.soundtrack are pretty damn mediocre. It’s not that they’re talentlessly bad — the band is tight and the vision clear — but that they fail to exploit any of the opportunities that making music together has given them.
What contents of distraction boils down to is a tiresome, dull rock EP. The musical style is part lonesome blues-rock (the type of thing that Aloha and The Velvet Teen touch on with much more success), part melodic hardcore (which attacks in random, sporadic bursts, never with enough focused energy to actually sound convincing). In places (like the grand, trumpet-decorated ‘murderhearts’) there’s definite potential for tight, inventive songwriting, but the dreariness soon takes over again and you’re left feeling like monotony is the only substantial thing that this band has to offer.