Take One Car - When the Ceiling Meets the Floor
Record Label: None
Release Date: May 28, 2009
Take One Car, a progressive rock band from Millerton, New York, has provided me with my most difficult review yet. Just when I think I have the positives, negatives, and my overall opinion of the album figured out, I listen to When the Ceiling Meets the Floor again... and I question what I thought. Utilizing a mixture of progressive and ambient rock, with a few subtle touches of post hardcore and maybe even some old school screamo, Take One Car has so many different sounds, directions, and ideas on the album that it's hard to pick out what works and what doesn't. But now, I think I've finally figured out my thoughts on this album.
Take One Car tries out several approaches. Instrumental buildups, barn burners, an instrumental epic, even a ballad. There is no lack for experimentation with their sound on this album. And as is often the case when a band tries out different things, some of them succeed while others fall a little short.
They're best when they keep things fast and loud, creating some of the better songs on the album. "Ukranian Car Bomb," for example, is carried by the fast fingerwork of guitarists Tyler Irish and Pete Scholes and crashing cymbals. It's followed by "The Menagerie" which experiments with some different ideas with bass lines and alternately quirky/heavy guitar riffs. These two tracks make up the best eight minutes of the album and shows the band's experimentation at it's best.
Unfortunately, when the tracks slow down the album starts to drag. While "Hello Hollow Eyes" features some cool moments fluctuating between emotion-filled balladry and fast, earnest anthems (and benefits from being in the much better first half of the album), the 3 song stretch after "The Menagerie" kills the albums momentum. While none of the songs are particularly bad, lumping them together creates a 12-minute space that loses the listener's attention and the album's focus. "Chapter 2: The Floor" is a good, short instrumental that kicks off the second half (or chapter) of the album, but it's followed by the slow "Melk," which loses any chance of being taken seriously when the singer repeats "I'm spoiled milk/ You're super glue," and "Pg. 67," which is another good but out of place instrumental track.
Fortunately, if the listener makes it through those three, they are treated with three excellent tracks to finish the album in much the same way it began (if you ignore the pointless six minute silence and secret track at the end).
With When the Ceiling Meets the Floor, Take One Car gives us an album that, while inconsistent, shows great promise. With engaging guitar riffs, solid bass lines, loud, cymbal-driven drums, and a drive to excel and to improve their sound, Take One Car has a bright future ahead of them.