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Say Goodnight, Sleep Alone
Carbon Copy Media

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.

-Susan Frances

Track listing:
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
7. June
8. Love Takes And Breaks
9. Leaving Tomorrow
10. Tired Of Pretending
11. Short Love

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