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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Last November

Over The Top or Under the Weather

Review by Gary Hill

Those who have read a lot of my reviews will know that I’m a hard sell on emo. So, when I tell you that these guys have a lot of emo in their mix but are very strong – and that this is quite a good disc, it should mean a lot. Really much of the music here is fairly generic in terms of styles – yet it never gets boring or feels like “we’ve heard this a million times before.” It’s all entertaining. When they step out of their comfort zone, though is where they really excel. All in all this is quite a good CD from a group that have a lot of talent. I’m looking forward to hearing what they come up with as their career continues.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2009  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Sunrise
This is a short introductory piece. It’s not instrumental, though. It’s got multiple layers and a cool overall tone.
The Bumper Sticker Song
Here they give us a punky little jam. It’s not quite emo, not quite power pop and not quite real punk. It’s definitely fun.
Sunday Afternoon
Less punky and more catchy, this is another fun tune.
Jesus Had Breakfast In Bed
This is definitely more punk/emo in nature. It’s also hard rocking and quite tasty. 
New York Rain
Here’s another strong cut that’s pretty closely in the emo vein. This is more modern alternative pop rock than pure emo, but you can definitely feel a lot of punk in the mix. 
Uppers, Downers, & All-Arounders
There’s nothing hugely different about this cut. It’s just another solid chunk of emo. 
Hot And Cold
More stripped down and rather bouncy this is another fun track. It’s got just a hint of reggae to the guitar line. It’s a good tune, just not Earth shattering. 
Over The Top Or Under The Weather
It’s interesting how these guys can take the same general musical concept and keep it interesting. They prove it here. 
Butter Me Up
Another alternative rock meets emo jam, this is catchy like the rest of the disc. 
Merry Christmas Little Match Girl
Now here’s a change up. This balladic cut is fun and has some serious rockabilly built into it. It’s another strong track and it’s a great bit of variety. 
I'm Not A Doctor But I Play One On T.V.
Here’s another hard rocking, emo-tinged cut. It’s not a big change from some of the other stuff, but it’s also one of the strongest cuts on show here.
Seventeen At Three In The Morning
Basically a ballad, this gets one of the most full and lush arrangements of the disc. This one borders on prog rock and is a great piece of music. It might be my favorite on show here.
Sunset
Here we get a proggy instrumental take on the motifs that opened the disc, serving as a great bookend.
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