I've noticed that pop music has gone through a lot of changes in the last few years. One thing I've noticed is the misconceptions of what people call "original" as something that sounds exactly like what's popular at the moment. The opening sentence in the press kit for this album is as follows "C'mon, admit it! It's been years since you've heard a band that didn't sound like every other band on the planet. In this dark era of musical history, rife with empty hype where homogeneity rules and individuality is highly discouraged, we have a group for you." I'm sold, aren't you?
History Will Never Hold Me starts with an introduction track that gets a decent flow going and makes you think the record is really promising, almost giving you a feeling like as if they were inspired by Hum in some way. "He Said/She Said" then kicks off the album with an upbeat pop sound that off the bat sounds really commercial but appealing all the same. The good production on this record cannot be dismissed as well. All instruments have a good presence and sound all their own, which is really rare now a days. After the first two tracks you start to think that maybe this could be something that might be enjoyable. It isn't until "Crime Does Pay" and "Please Forget" that the album begins to show you exactly what is ruining pop music in the first place: electronics. When used correctly they can make an album stand on it's own; not in this case though.
The further down the road we travel with this album, the more we see what exactly is wrong with pop/rock bands getting a little bit too "experimental." You can't help but feel somewhat cheated in my position when you're expecting what the press release would call "individuality" and just get nothing more than up to date pop/rock monotony. As compared to bands like Bloc Party and The Killers, what makes this band so original? I'm really curious to know. Their counterparts in this genre have hooks in almost every part of their songs, something History Will Never Hold Me lacks in more ways than one. You can't blame the vocals for not having the correct melody because decent vocal melodies are showcased on this record. Although I must say constant high-pitched tenor vocals can be a little irritating after a while, especially when accompanied by the dance tracks backing them. Other tracks sans the "electronic wackiness" show promise and make me wonder why the band would waste their time writing such filler when they are capable of doing much better. "Closer" and "Not a Victim" show exactly that!
Overall, this album is really hit or miss. I don't know why this band would write such obnoxious dance club sounding tracks when they are very capable of writing better music. If this band were to omit the worthless tracks from this record, they would've had a very good EP on their hands. It's unfortunate that sometimes you can't help but feel that when a band writes great tracks that maybe the real bad ones were somewhat outside influenced. Let's hope that next time around, they ditch the electronics and use what works.
5.5 / 10
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