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Firescape
Dancehall Apocalypse
We The People Records
www.firescapeband.com


Spin-off projects of successful bands are always subject to some amount of scrutiny and obvious comparison. Firescape is a spin-off project of Josh Partington, originally of the band Something Corporate. Being a huge fan of Something Corporate I naturally wanted to love Firescape. However, when I stuck in Dancehall Apocalypse I was a little less than impressed.

He has strayed away from the piano rock that was previously mastered by his former band and has taken a shot at a more alternative melodic rock sound. Yet this melodic rock sounds more like another band that's attempting to dabble in the fan pool of bands like Fall Out Boy or The Academy Is... It's emotional, yes, and personal of course, but just doesn't seem to be the right kind of music for his voice. The guitar is slow and unnoticeable in most songs, while the drums add no real presence and vocals aren't at the right level. The song "The Way You Are" is pretty much the only one that I really enjoy and could listen to more than once. The reason, I believe, is that this song is really more rock. The melodic, touchy-feely stuff has been taken away and replaced with a deeper and darker song. The guitar is excellent, faster and more prominent. Josh's voice starts out lower, really drawing you in and then busts out at just the right times. This is the kind of song where the chorus: "call me liar/still I'll treat you just the way you are" easily gets stuck in your head.

The overall theme to this album is just a little too slow. Sure, that's the point of most melodic rock, but this doesn't seem to be working. Josh's voice doesn't give the impression that it's the right fit for songs of this nature. Perhaps on their next album the music might shift more towards that rock that I got a slight taste of. If not, I'll always enjoy the work Josh did on Something Corporate and probably always compare the two.

-Rachel Fredrickson


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