Cincinnati, Ohio natives Ellison have returned with their
second release Say Goodnight, Sleep Alone on Hawthorne
Heights' frontman JT Woodruff's label Carbon Copy Media.
The four piece emo-rock band gave listeners a sneak peak at what
they could do in July 2005 when unleashed their debut EP Indecisive
And Halfhearted. Their album Say Goodnight, Sleep Alone
takes softcore punk rhythms and laces them with romantic toned
rock melodies harking a Mae-like flint along Copeland-bowed
arches and Armor For Sleep-style vocal curves and cupping.
The melodic soft rock mounds on tracks like "Love Takes
And Breaks," "Give In," and "Following You"
have a sameness that is so springy and cheerful that it doesn't
matter how much alike they are. It's the kind of sameness that
you enjoy returning to and don't mind hearing again and again.
The soft rock creases on the opener "Joanna, Open Your Eyes"
have an aural with Acceptance-cinched precepts. The chord
changes on "Holiday Drive-In" build and release with
a natural flux that strengthens the series. A flourishing guitar
crescendo opens "Your Good-Bye's" and then falls back
into the melodic folds. The vocals and drums are prominent on
the number, really gaveling into the melody.
The title track is the best developed song with bold guitar flares
and intricate movements. The tempo changes on "June"
wrangle between rock ballad and mid-tempo. It's a tune for couples
keeping the fires burning for each other. The intermingling of
acoustic and rock verses on "Tired Of Pretending" give
the song vibrating textures as the vocals take flight with excellent
trajectile. The closing guitar phrase is equally elevating and
tops the song with intensity. The album closes with "Short
Love" dipping the emo-lunging vocals into acoustic lines
that are thinly textured and melodically stitched. The vocal resonance
again makes excellent length along gently strummed lines.
Lead vocalist/guitarist/synth player Josh Hill and his
band mates guitarist Ian Bolender, bassist J.D. Carlson,
and drummer Mitch Wyatt demonstrate music that is well
acquainted with emo-rock bands like Cartel, The Starting
Line, Mae, and Acceptance, and yet, Ellison have a distinct
marking that keeps them sounding like themselves and not like
someone else. They let melodic rock prevail and bang it out with
their own indentations.
1. Joanna, Open Your Eyes
2. Following You
3. Holiday Drive-In
4. Your Good-Bye's
5. Say Goodnight, Sleep Alone
6. Give In
8. Love Takes And Breaks
9. Leaving Tomorrow
10. Tired Of Pretending
11. Short Love
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