While there definitely are problems with musical priority in this album, after listening to Good Health, the most negative thing I can say about this album is it pales in comparison to PGMG's debut. While "slow and soft" is not necessarily a bad thing, it is in the case of The New Romance. When your biggest feature is the guitars and the vocals, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to stick unimportant keyboard fills in some songs that would otherwise be fine, and sections of nothing but unnecessary ambient noise into others. While several of the tracks fall flat, about an equal amount of them shine.
Highlights include "Something Bigger, Something Brighter," "All Medicated Geniuses," "Chemical, Chemical," and "This is Our Emergency"; these songs basically have some sort of element that makes them fun. Most of the rest strike me either as filler ("Mr. Club," "-," "Blue Lights") or as insanely boring coming from such a talented and fun punk band ("A Certain Cemetary," "Holy Names"). The New Romance is definitely a disappointing follow-up to a promising debut, but it has its moments, and plenty of them, meaning they still have the potential to knock me off my feet once again.
'What is this band? Quasi-popular tripe not worth my time.
What's the problem? The band is way too dependent upon the guitars to entertain the audiences. Although the guitarists do excellent work at times in the album, it's not enough to make this bad band good.
Is the band any good? Not with what they emphasize. It's pretty easy to see that the singer and the guitars are the focus; almost every second of the album either has a clear projection of singing or some good guitar work and judging by what I've been listening to for the past week, the singer is the priority. When you got some good axe grinders and a shitty singer, isn't it obvious that the guitars should be priority over the singer? The guitarists shouldn't have to go into weak breakdowns because she wants the opportunity to "shine."
Okay, we get it, the singing is awful, but is the band itself bad? Not necessarily. There are certain parts in some of these songs that I find catchy. Like in "Chemical Chemical," the first breakdown has been stuck in my head. The breakdown is one of the few parts in the album that I find enjoyable; a part where I can close my eyes and actually take pleasure in what I'm listening to. However, it's only a small part, and although it's a good part, the album lacks quality production and composition. What I mean to say is the best parts of the album are followed up by much shoddier parts and worse yet, some of this material sounds like filler.
Does it sound like there's filler throughout the album? Yes and it shows. Quite a bit of the album sounds like the guitars rocking out for certain segments, and then receding into simple three-chord melodies. As for the singing, it sounds like she knows, at times, how to hit the correct note at the correct time, but she fails to do this through most of the album. Hell, she doesn't even HIT notes, in some parts. I might as well listen to Shatner's Spoken Word.
Is this album any good? If you can put up with the poorly produced three-quarters of the album to get to the decent quarter, then yes.
Is this what Murder City broke up for? God, I hope not.
5.5 / 10
Reviewed by 2 writers.
Posted May 3, 2004, 12:04 p.m.
The Wrong Side (AKA Dumptruck) sign to Stillborn Records. One of their new songs, "A War On Words", can be heard here. It's unmastered! The Wrong Side will also ...
Looking for the SPB logo? You can download it in a range of styles and colours here:
Click anywhere outside this dialog to close it, or press escape.