ARSONS, THE: Bridges Down: CD

Boy howdy, do I like the Arson’s first record, Full Life Crisis. Anthemic, melodic, and almost flawless in a Strong Reaction Pegboy sort of way. With Bridges Down, there are flashes of their early work, but two elements have put flies in the taffy. 1.) Guitar solos all over the fucking place. Ungh. Go Yngwie Malmsteen on your own time. 2.) The desire to mix hardcore tempos into Jawbox-like breakdowns and prettiness. Both of these elements drag the songs out, dilute the initial impact, and ultimately give off the impression of a band not quite sure what they want to do as a cohesive unit. Unfortunately, my lasting impression of Bridges Down—which I listened to fifteen times over two months to see if it’d grow on me—was this: it’s just boring. I wanted to like this.

 –todd (Mad at the World)