With Lights And Sirens - When Change Itself Can Give No More Label: Unsigned Producers: With Lights And Sirens Release Date: May 28, 2006
Funny how nowadays, those of us who write reviews or are starting bands feel the need to compare everyone to everybody else. For instance, when reviews are written, it's generally easier to tell people who a band sounds like ("if you're a fan of so-and-so, you'll love this band!") rather than telling them what they sound like. Relating new bands to already founded ones seems redundant, but it's easier as a music fan to understand a band's sound if you know what it is already.
Keeping that in mind, if you like bands like Silverstein, then With Lights And Sirens will be right up your alley. Not to get all Victory Records album-cover-sticker on you, but it's the best comparison the band's EP, When Change Itself Can Give No More, suggests. Hailing from Chicago (I know, I know), the band formerly known as Paranoid Tuesday - featuring vocalist/guitarist Raleigh Randolph, drummer Mike Aguilar and Guillermo Avina on bass - brings out some rock that, for the moment you are listening, sound fun and have you desiring to mosh, but leave you empty by day's end.
Not to say the band or album is something disgraceful or God-awful - it just doesn't resonate past the intended first listen (or even after a couple). The songs run together and don't evoke much more than a quick flurry of satisfaction immediately after you hear them. But satisfaction is only temporary in this case, and the songs that sounded good for a moment are forgotten about as quick as they came in.
"Freefalls And Parachutes" is the album's best moment (the acoustic version is the EP's hidden track), shifting gears from full-throttle post-hardcore rocker to melancholy alt-rock in just over 4 minutes. Out of eight songs total, three are slow-building interludes, which don't help but kill the pacing of the EP. From that song on out, the album seems to have a more distinct identity, but it's too late to save it from ultimately being a tad dull and not very memorable.
With nearly 16,000 friends on MySpace and hundreds of thousands of Pure Volume plays, the band seems to be gaining some momentum quickly. Said to be influenced by bands like Thursday, At The Drive-In and Thrice, it should be said that With Lights And Sirens provokes the ability to be like said bands, but need to take the creative aspect that they do in their songwriting, and don't just go right for the throat with their post-hardcore rock.
I like to think that all bands have the capabilities to be better than they seem at first. Just starting out with a self-released EP can be hard, but with more time and focus, this young three-piece can add more strength to their songs and a more creative centerpiece. They have all the ingredients, now they just need some more time to work with them.
Let's just hope change can end up giving some more, or else, there really isn't anywhere else to go.
1. When Change Itself Can Give No More
2. She's Got A Box Cutter (In Her Back Pocket)
4. Last Impressions (Interlude)
5. Freefalls And Parachutes
6. Your Cause, My Effect
7. Tra Gung
8. Tear Stained Eyes / Freefalls And Parachutes (Acoustic)
Raleigh Randolph: vocals/guitar
Guillermo Avina: bass
Mike Aguilar: drums