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Album Review
The Same Last Name - End of the Trend Album Cover

The Same Last Name - End of the Trend

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9.0
The Same Last Name - End of the Trend
Record Label: Self-Released
Release Date: June 18, 2011
Every so often a band comes around whose music seems like its from a different time, future or past. For Fort Worth TX alternative outfit The Same Last Name, this would be the past, but this is hardly a bad thing. Their sound is comparable to pop punk/emo bands of the early 2000's, perhaps most to Taking Back Sunday, but each member brings a different spice to the table. Jake Burns' vocal style differs among songs; his high range brings Craig Owens to mind, while evoking Adam Lassara in lower octaves. Lyrically, the reoccurring theme is a common one - troubled relationships, paranoia, lack of trust, and conflicting feelings, but Burns writes in a way that is close to everyday speech rather than using literary devices, which could come off as too abstract or cheesy. Instrumentally, the band is like a marble rolling around a shoebox of light and dark paints - sometimes poppy, sometimes heavier, but consistently fast, technical, and not afraid to show off. Chris Bell's versatile guitar work is comparable to older Coheed and Cambria and Matchbook Romance; Nathan Eclavea's high treble bass is reminiscent of Rufio or Blink 182, while Adam Dye's complex drumming is like a poppier Saosin fused with a high-speed Circa Survive.



Compared to many current bands that have 5-6 members and use various studio effects (auto-tune, layered vocals, electronics, etc.) this single guitar 4-piece has a unique sound, as becomes evident early on in their full-length debut album independently released in June. Appropriately titled End of the Trend, it would be reasonable to assume the band opted for very few, but tasteful effects added in the studio. As a result, it feels very organic, allowing for the emotion (primarily angst) to pour through each track. The album opens with "If You Can Fool Yourself, You Can Fool Anyone"; a driving guitar riff and Dye's booming, tom-heavy drumming makes this a great song to hear on the road. The upbeat "Love Don't Pay the Bills" will make you want to clap, dance and sing along to the infectious chorus "It's too late to be rational". Vocal tradeoffs between Burns and Eclavea are strewn throughout "Easy Living Competition". Eclavea, who contributes backup vocals on 8 of the 10 songs on the record, has a voice similar to Burns' but lower, and the two complement each other very well. A creepy, halloween-esque riff opens the slow, epic "Insane Clown Frosty". Bell displays a classical prowess, Dye's chops are especially noticeable, and Burns' whispers are sensual and intoxicating. Eclavea flexes his bass muscles on "Everybody Dies." with a solo throughout the bridge and outro, amongst the catchy anthem "Life goes on, life goes on". "Nice Legs…" is perhaps the hardest-hitting song on the album; the blasting intro riff along with the only screaming part on the record should make it a favorite amongst fans of heavier music. The closing song and also the most diverse, "…But Enough About Me, Let's Talk About Me", has a bit of everything; calm, dreamy parts throughout, whispering and loud singing, and even a dual guitar and bass solo.

While The Same Last Name sticks with the standard rock/pop 3-chorus structure, the various other elements they incorporate - ambient intros and bridges, intense gradual build-ups, and solos tend to make their songs longer, with six going over the 5 minute mark, and "Frosty" even clocking in at 8:12. Some listeners could grow tired of this, but fans of progressive and experimental music might find the added dynamics refreshing. That's not to say the shorter songs aren't as good - in fact, they're the stand-out tracks on the album. "Fool Yourself", "Love Don't Pay the Bills", and "Everybody Dies." are the catchiest and easiest songs to sing along to, due to Burns' lower, faster vocal style. In the longer, heavier songs, he predominantly holds out high notes, which is impressive at first, but can become stale and should be done with more moderation (many will only be able to sing along through the use of a quiet falsetto). Furthermore, most of the songs share a similar fast tempo, aside from "Frosty". Hopefully we can look forward to more variation in speed, and a couple more slow songs in future releases. I would also like to see more variation and depth lyrically; all of the songs share the same themes, a broader range of more fleshed-out subject matter would be refreshing and easier for the average listener to connect with.

Overall, End of the Trend is an ambitious debut, especially for an unsigned band; the talent of each member shines while showing a lot of potential for growth as a whole. The Same Last Name will undoubtedly be a name to look out for in the remainder of 2011 and beyond.

Recommended If You LikeEarly 2000's Pop Punk/Emo; Taking Back Sunday; Adam Lassara's voice; Craig Owens' voice; intricate instrumentation; musicianship of Rufio, old Coheed and Cambria, old Saosin; organic production

facebook.com/thesamelastnameband
itunes.com/thesamelastname
This review is a user submitted review from adalia fox. You can see all of adalia fox's submitted reviews here.
 
Displaying posts 1 - 4 of 4
05:35 AM on 12/17/11
#2
kurtdaniel
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hmmm,, im curious about this band.. im a big fan of Taking Back Sunday(i actually undergone vocal lessons to imitate their songs).. and learning from this article that they sound the same made me interested.. :)
05:03 PM on 01/15/12
#3
medicatemex
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hmmm,, im curious about this band.. im a big fan of Taking Back Sunday(i actually undergone vocal lessons to imitate their songs).. and learning from this article that they sound the same made me interested.. :)

i seriously consider checking these guys out, this album is just amazing.
10:23 PM on 07/25/14
#4
blaze7755
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I randomly have one of their songs but does anyone know where I can find the rest of the album? They've seem to have disappeared from the face of the planet.

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