I’m going to talk about one-sheets for a minute (or perhaps for this entire review): These things are a waste of paper and I’ve yet to read one that says much of anything of value. For instance, statements like “[the band] manages to capture the spirit and fire that made the ‘90s sound so vital—while simultaneously infusing its songs with the immediacy and melodic muscle that makes modern punk rock a powerful force in its own right,” are difficult to take seriously when we all know they were written by a PR agent whose job is to lavish even the worst music with praise. But that isn’t to say that there isn’t a shred of truth to the one-sheet’s proclamations: it states that if you like Face To Face, Gaslight Anthem, and Alkaline Trio then you’ll probably like this. That’s pretty hard to argue when the truth of the matter is that this band pretty much rips their entire playbook straight from those bands’ past efforts. But I don’t hate it… I mean, not all of it. There are moments of Bad Religion-esque harmonies and Copyrights-esque melody. Come to think of it, the first song on this album is the first song on The Copyrights’ Make Sound (“Kids of the Black Hole”) note for fucking note. And I guess that’s the problem; every single second of this record sounds derivative and whatever it’s derived from was better (even when it wasn’t particularly good in the first place [see Gaslight Anthem]). Sorry PR dude, you have not converted me. But don’t worry, this band has the potential to be huge… I just don’t think that’s a particularly good thing most of the time. God, I’m such a grump.
–Chris Mason (Black Numbers, theblacknumbers.com)