Chugga chugga, Choo Choo! The Emo Express is pulling out of the station, at full steam ahead! The guest conductors are the members of Paulson, powering the engine with their half sung/half screamed vocals, twinkly-to-mangled guitars and hard-hitting drums. Make sure you pack your Kleenex, journal and tight vintage t-shirts, because Variations will be a very long, dull and nauseating ride.
Here’s the basic formula: Failure style guitars, a jazz influenced drummer who plays like the guy from 311 and a flat bass guitar tone. Paulson tries to set themselves apart from the rest of the screamo pack by using keyboards and robotic backing vocals, but it’s clearly little more than senseless shtick. “Nightfall” could be the crown jewel in this color-by-numbers emo disc. It’s got a really weird drum-line that sounds like the one from Trapt’s radio smash “Headstrong.” The vocalist sounds like he’s literally going to cry, that is until he gets mad during the chorus and starts screaming. It’s cheese of the highest quality, and is good for several hardy laughs.
Simply put, this disc is unoriginal, uninspired and dull. It lacks creativity of any sort. I’m kind of surprised that Initial released this album, as they typically put out some quality stuff. I guess fans of Trapt, Hoobastank, 311 or Juliana Theory might be into this. So if you dig those bands, give this one a spin.
Initial Records: www.initialrecords.com