Departures - Without Fear (Cover Artwork)


Departures: Without FearWithout Fear (2011)

Reviewer Rating: 2.5
User Rating:

Contributed by: mikexdudemikexdude
(others by this writer | submit your own)

One of the worst things a band can do is sound too modern–well, I guess if you want to get popular quickly, then it's probably the only thing you can do. But those with artistic integrity know that relevance alone doesn't equate good music, and in almost every instance, the trappings of musica.
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One of the worst things a band can do is sound too modern–well, I guess if you want to get popular quickly, then it's probably the only thing you can do. But those with artistic integrity know that relevance alone doesn't equate good music, and in almost every instance, the trappings of musical modernity only composes vapid products. This is the precisely the case for northern New Jersey's Departures: While the songs on their EP, Without Fear, aren't poorly written, they leave me thinking "so what?"

The weakest link is the vocalist. His grating and nasally register is reminiscent of every pop-punk frontman you hear in a Hot Topic. His execution isn't very diverse and it's all a tad overwhelming. I can imagine he'd really lose his breath live, because there's no filter for melody–just that constant attack of singing that passes for "catchy" these days.

It's disappointing considering the music, per se, isn't that bad. They recorded at Nada Studios with an engineer who was responsible for the likes of Polar Bear Club and Brand New's Your Favorite Weapon. Throughout Without Fear, a lot of the twinkling leads seem to come straight from the The Redder, The Better handbook, along with corresponding guitar effects. Similarly, they conclude their effort with an Explosions in the Sky-esque number, much like the PBC demo. Unfortunately, it doesn't really develop as much as it could.

Departures could do some fine-tuning...maybe utilize the yell a bit more than they do. I don't know–I can't think of a reason why a fan of this style of music would chose this over others.


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
jakeyeaman (September 5, 2012)

Great band, great album, amazingly catchy and heartfelt songs. the guy who reviewed this shouldn't have picked a band that plays a style of music that he admittedly doesn't appreciate. Can't wait for the new E.P. to come out, it's even better than this one.

vinylnoob88 (February 7, 2012)


Their little blog thingy leads me to believe that they are more than what this critic has chocked them up to be

Relentless (December 8, 2011)

These guys are incredible people and musicians. This review is horrible. Go check them out and make your mind up for yourself. Enough said.

powerbait (April 9, 2011)

They are good guys and have a really fun live show. I definitely appreciate them more having seen them live.

devianter (April 5, 2011)

lol what did you expect it's written by mikexdude. he doesn't know shit about music.

GarrettIrish (March 22, 2011)

Nice to see the whole bands street team is here.

Anyway I gave it a listen, I like some of the instrumentals. They really aren't bad. But when you throw in such nasal almost whiney vocals it just kills it. I know some people just sing that way, but I just can't take it. Punk isn't meant to sound like you just left your drivers ed class, or that you just walked out of a Disney studio.

I know the trend is for things to get poppier but it makes it sound like you got no soul.

So I say the review is pretty accurate. This definitely is a "modern" style too. It only became something I'd call a trend in the past year or two. So I don't understand people hating on that phrase, it makes total sense to me.

Christiansmom69 (March 20, 2011)

Shit band
no care ever
van flip

Chawpz (March 19, 2011)

This band fucking tears it up live and they are seriously the coolest guys ever.

Trustychords69 (March 19, 2011)

I have never read a more honest review.
This band blows and their lawyers below didn't really help their case.

jp13 (March 19, 2011)

my band played with these guys in a basement show in SI, they're all cool dudes and they put on a great show. They are pretty hard working too, I'd give them a listen and not take the "too modern" comment to heart, solid tunes

TheRedDeath (March 19, 2011)

glad to see the band's mothers came here to defend them in verbose fashion.

tehsharktank (March 18, 2011)

One of the best shows we have had at this venue had Departures on the bill and they were fucking amazing. The vocals jumped around and the music was just too good to ignore. Their song, Left in America, has such a good chorus and most of their songs had that catchy choir feel on top of the itchy vocals. I don't know what the reviewer means by they sound too modern or like they're trying to get popular too fast with a change. Listen to The Departures EP and see what you think. I don't think anyone should be turned off to giving this new cd a listen, but at least try the old stuff out. I'm not sure how often they tour, but it's a superrad idea to catch them next time their on the road. I know they're booking for August, so catch them and buy their stuff. It's fucking rad.

Runyourpockets8 (March 18, 2011)

This might be one of the most poorly written reviews of a band I've read in a long time. Not only have I seen this band mature from the streetpunk band "Mispent Youth" to "Departures" but I've been to almost every show. The energy that shines off the entire band is insane. They're just as spot on and great live as they are in studio. The lyrics are straight from the heart and find ways to pull your heart strings and trigger so many emotions. My favorite bands are No Cash, Atrocity Solution, The Infested and the likes, but I enjoy many different styles and genres of punk and Departures/mispent Youth has always been one of my favorites for being true to themselves, not trying to sound like every other band out there.

If this guys poor review of this cd has gave you second thoughts on buy or listening to the ep I highly recommend you change your mind. If your looking for some faster more intense music from them check out Mispent Youth "scam of the century" and Departures first self title ep is the perfect example of how a band can mature and still stay close to their roots. But "Without Fear" is both musically, and lyrically their best album so far. The only thing that's truly poppy about this band is how easily these songs will stick in your head. Why? Because they're awesome. Check out "Signals" for a perfect example of how emotionally charged these band is.

inagreendase (March 18, 2011)

What does aping a current, popular sound have anything to do with progression? If it sounds like a band is riding a trend, I certainly wouldn't call that progress.

ryanisokayiguess (March 18, 2011)

This is a brilliant example of what happens when you let an incredibly close minded and dubious author write for your website. "The worst thing a band can possibly do is sound too modern" what does that even mean? Can bands not progress? Or should every band still be living in the glory days of minor threat or poison idea, never evolving their sound? I love those bands but what happened to the wonderful idea of change and revolution in music? What branch of uber conservatism do you align yourself with when writing your reviews of albums? According to this, change is bad. Or maybe every band should sound just like hot water music, because that sound is the only thing this website seems to like.
And what is the comment about the nasally voice? First off, i like the sound of nasally voices in this genre, Scott Sturgeon has a nasally voice. Chris Cash has a nasally voice, but this singer doesn't resemble either of them at all.

The lyrics on this ep are incredibly sincere and that brilliantly shines through the extremely well constructed, forward thinking songs that departures play.

When you write a bad review. make sure you have actual points to base your opinions on, not mindless bullshit of your childish need for things to stay the same so you feel comfortable. I have lost much respect for this website.

christianb (March 18, 2011)

haters gonna hate.

dovriot (March 18, 2011)

damn good band

hobostylee (March 18, 2011)

You should see them live.

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