Two Tongues – Two Tongues
Release Date: February 3, 2009
When news of Chris Conley and Max Bemis collaborating to create Two Tongues hit the interwebs, my little heart was all a flutter. You see, Saves The Day is my all time favorite band. And Say Anything released my favorite album in 2007. Plus I love collaborations, such as The Flintstones and Jetsons crossover movie, and Jay-Z and Linkin Park bringing rap and rock together like never before (Collision Course holla!)! So, had the stars align to bring me one of my favorite albums of 2009?
The self-titled debut of the super group starts out great, overwhelming you with emotional chargers such as “Crawl” and “If I Could Make You Do Things.” But, then tracks like the Weezer-esque “Don’t You Want To Come Home” and “Alice” (which sounds like a Sound The Alarm b-side) completely underwhelm you. (Seriously guys, I just want to be whelmed!)
There are definitely some highlights though. “Wowee Zowee” will definitely be a song you want to crank on your stereo. And “Come On” may be the breakout song on the album, really showing off the potential of Two Tongues. Full of energy and on-point call and return vocals between Bemis and Conley, this song is a keeper. “Dead Lizard,” with its menacing guitar tones, is vibrant and features a huge bridge with Bemis’ vocals bursting form the seams.
Even with a handful of good tracks though, there is still a fair amount of clunkers. “Back Against The Wall” is the ugly duckling of the album, and no, it does not turn into a beautiful swan. Cheesy synths and awkward “ahh’s” from Conley makes this track one giant bucket of fail. And the album closer, “Even If You Don’t” is an absolute snoozer, ending Two Tongues on an unremarkable note.
But the most stunning thing about the album is the mediocre lyrics. Conley and Bemis have wrote memorable lyrics for their respective bands that have hit me hard, but nothing on Two Tongues seem to stick. Vocally, the chemistry between Conley and Bemis is remarkable; Bemis’ rough bark is the perfect counterbalance to Conley’s high-pitched wails (even though his vocals are incredibly whiny, even for me).
In hindsight, a Two Tongues EP would have probably been a better idea, as it would have left a better lasting impression on the listener. Instead, we have a full-length that shines at times, but is brought down by the amount of filler on it. Basically, if you dig Saves The Day and/or Say Anything, you will more than likely enjoy this, as it is what you probably would imagine: a hybrid of the two bands. Ideally, I wanted Two Tongues to be an album I could listen to throughout the year. Rather, it becomes an album that will be occasionally played while I wait for new Say Anything and Saves The Day albums instead.
"Crawl" and "Dead Lizard" are great -- but I agree with you completely. Like I've said before, it gets worse and worse upon each listen for me, which sucks, because I enjoy both vocalists. Chris' voice gets irritating halfway through, to be honest.
Underwhelming for sure, but maybe this means we can all love their respective original bands' next album even more.
i'm kinda bummed its getting ragged on so much, i'll agree it has some filler but i thought it was a pretty decent spin that just slips up the final few songs but the ones that shine are pretty damned good. i will agree on the weak lyrics though, as both singers independantly have written some great things in the past.
You know what? I agree with pretty much everything you said, Drew, but still found myself thoroughly enjoying this album and I'm actually not even that disappointed. Maybe my expectations weren't as high...
Good review, i completely agree. BIG disappointment, the only songs that do anything for me on this album were the 3 they put up on their Myspace page (Crawl, Wowee Zowee, If I Could Make You Do Things) and Silly Game.