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Brian Jones
Math Lab Records

There is so much potential here it kills me. Brian Jones is an amalgamation of different band concepts, including stylings of lighter punk fare like Jawbreaker and emo designs that could be found in Dashboard Confessional. Unfortunately though, awesome backing material provided by guitar, bass and drums can't elevate this band to the next level without seriously improving the vocal lines.

"The Roaring Twenties" and "KTCOKW" are just plain brilliant until the lackluster vocals fail to grab the listener by the throat like the rest of the band does. Guitar lines are memorable and diverse as they quickly alternate through the different songs, providing key emphasis and determination wherever they appear. Equaling this feat is the drums, which play smartly mirroring the guitar at points and taking a background stance at others to let the bass and guitar have freer reign - showing that the drummer is humble in his choices, yet powerful enough to stand on his own. Bass owns his parts accurately, giving gusto to the break-out sections and following closer to the guitar at others. Production really focuses on the backing material giving full relish to the many well defined changes that are found throughout the album.

If the vocal lines could prove as memorable as the guitar, if the same determination of the drums could be channeled, this album would be unstoppable. The vocals are better suited to the lighter side of the material and just can't hold their own in the rest. I will make that statement with one exception: on "The Cheat Sheet on Beat Street" the vocals are at their best and actually do a pretty nice job of alternating with the rest of the band, adding a good amount of fervor to the change. Now what happened on the rest of the album?


Track listing:

1) This is What it Sounds Like
2) The Roaring Twenties
3) La Kidason
4) Lil' Popcorn
6) The Cheat Sheet on Beat Street
7) Mother '04
8) A Ride Home From Mars
9) Confidence is the Sexiest Thing You Can Wear
10) One Title of Your Choice

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