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Spraynard - Funtitled (Cover Artwork)

Spraynard

Spraynard: FuntitledFuntitled (2011)
Asian Man Records

Reviewer Rating: 3.5
User Rating:


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

Is it fair to penalize a band for potential? Spraynard have what will be on many people's Top 10 lists at the end of the year. I wouldn't be surprised to see it as the album of the year. And those rewards will be well deserved. However, one thing nags me after multiple listens: This record could hav.
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Is it fair to penalize a band for potential? Spraynard have what will be on many people's Top 10 lists at the end of the year. I wouldn't be surprised to see it as the album of the year. And those rewards will be well deserved. However, one thing nags me after multiple listens: This record could have been legendary.

The introduction, "I Care Not" sets the tone nicely. This is a whole new ballgame for Spraynard. Vocals, both lead and backing, are tighter and cleaner than on previous releases. While still very anthemic, these songs are layered and atmospheric. Hooks fly fast and steady, never letting the listener get too far away. At the same time, they make the breaks from fist pumps much more accessible. Funtitled is an easy album to like, and the life-affirming lyrics do nothing but enhance that.

It is a logical progression from Cut & Paste, one that works well. Spraynard is further distancing themselves from another band whose shadow they have long labored under (or, much more likely embraced). There are a multitude of standout tracks, chief among them being "The Denver Broncos vs The Denver Broncos". The refrain, "Today, I prove that I am more than a collection of comic books or a high score on a screen," should resonate loudly with a generation weaned on Playstation 2 and rather excellent comic film adaptations. Spraynard presents a stark contrast to the doom and gloom so prevalent in punk rock today.

However, that penalty is coming into play now. This is an album so close to being perfect that its faults burn that much brighter. There is almost a cohesive narrative running through the album, but it seems just a little too unfocused. Motifs that are bandied about, say sleep from the opener to the second track, work well together but seem to ultimately go nowhere. "Arcade games make my head hurt" in one song seems to complement his earlier, abovementioned cry of being more than a high score. A number of songs could have benefited from just a slightly longer runtime. There is a tendency to let the song fade with vocals, and while that works in small doses, the music here is interesting enough that I don't want it to simply fade away.

I would love to see this band work with a producer like J. Robbins, someone adept at tweaking and turning the little things and making the layers that much stronger. In a few years, when Spraynard is headlining The Fest and putting records out on Epitaph, people will look back to this album as essential listening. And essential listening it certainly will be, but I am confident that this is just a stepping stone for even greater work. This is a band that has made giant leaps and bounds with every record and while the album is great, I am left wanting to hear so much more, because I know it is there and I can't wait for it. I would recommend this album and especially this band to any fan of punk rock.

 

 
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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.
Thumbs (May 21, 2012)

Thumbs way, way down.

CowboyKiller (January 5, 2012)

A lot of amazing songs on here, but there are definitely a couple duds.

Milkcrates (June 2, 2011)

Gold.

traininvain56 (May 27, 2011)

i really love the short songs. no bullshit, no filler.

ashtraymonument (May 26, 2011)

I really enjoy this album, but I agree with you Ricky. most of the songs feel like they end too early, leaving me wanting more. however, some of the songs are goddamn perfect.

powerbait (May 26, 2011)

I agree. But if you're reviewing a record, you can't ignore the faults. I think this record is easily their strongest work. I think they have improved as songwriters. But the nagging issue for me was the album experience. That's where I think the untapped potential comes into play. I like almost every song on the record, but I think they would benefit from a more cohesive experience. The songs that end too soon or lyrics that sort of tie songs together, those sort of things pull me out of the record. They break my immersion.

For some people, that stuff doesn't matter. But for other people, it does matter. Your example of the Samiam record is a good one. For you, the record isn't as good as it could be. You can still enjoy it, but objectively you see what keeps it from being as good as you want it to be. So while you may love it, were you to review it for someone else, those faults would have to bring it down compared to say, Clumsy.

I am glad people are so passionate about this band and record. They are a band that deserves it. This is a record that will probably end up on my top 10 at the end of the year. But, the best two records I've heard this year were 4/5 to me. I'm really excited to see where Spraynard goes after this. A lot of bands find their sound and get comfortable. I think they've found their sound and are refining and improving it. The thing that has me most excited about this band is that I think they are going to release a landmark album, at least for me. This was an album that made me sit up and pay attention.

r3vengetherapy (May 26, 2011)

Man, sometimes you just gotta embrace the faults that a band has, whether it's the recording or the band themselves. The quicker you accept a record for what it is instead of what it COULD BE, the quicker you'll just enjoy it instead of worrying about an alternate future. I mean, I get it, because I have done the same thing in the past. The number one offender? Samiam's "Whatever's Got You Down." When I heard it, I was completely taken aback by the fact that it sounded like it was never mastered, never cleaned up a bit. Because some of those songs are fucking killer, and would sound so much better remastered (in my opinion). But I've accepted what it is now, and I enjoy it anyway.

powerbait (May 26, 2011)

The don't owe me anything. I really like this record. It makes me feel good about myself and life. Listening to it never fails to put me in a good mood. But, at the same time, there were things about the record that nagged at me. I can overlook things like that as a fan, but I can't when I'm trying to review the record objectively.

I understand that some people feel holding untapped potential against a record is unfair. Judging a record on its own merits is the way to go. When I was listening, though, I couldn't take ignore the little things that detracted from the record. I heard an album that was very close to a classic, but not quite there yet.

I also think that they are a band that is only getting better. I am really excited to see where they take their sound and how it develops. I never really got into Cut and Paste. This record grabbed me from the get go.

All that said, the personal attacks against the band are ridiculous. We know the internet is a wasteland of the worst types of people. It is just a shame that people have taken a solid record and used it as a reason to tear down people that are, by almost all accounts, really great guys. My brief interactions with them have done nothing to change that opinion.

r3vengetherapy (May 26, 2011)

What did this band do to incur the ire of so many people on this site? It's just a record. A lot of you guys are acting like they OWE you a better record or...something? I have no idea. The logic of what's happening in this review and in these comments is nonexistent.

spraynard (May 26, 2011)

:-O

hellobastards (May 25, 2011)

i wouldnt change a thing. love it

vinhoff (May 25, 2011)

Like it alot, I hear alot of Digger, and Got Beat Up era Weston in there, I get the Latterman comparison but I think they and the bands that followed owe alot to the Lehigh Valley Scene of the late 90's. Also I like RVIVR, Iron Chic, and Thousandaires more than Latterman.

MN_DrNick (May 25, 2011)

Accurate rating of this album.

wearestillalive (May 25, 2011)

No matter whether Spraynard sound like them or not, Latterman still haven't really been bettered by anything any of the members have done since. And of course we're still talking about Latterman in 2011 - their message is as important today, if not more so, than it was a few years ago.

nocigar (May 25, 2011)

i love this album

who cares who they sound like or resemble and who they don't? just enjoy the music and the message, and if you can't do that, shut the fuck up and go your own way and find something that you can enjoy

powerbait (May 25, 2011)

I hope their next record really gets under your skin then.

ifyoumakeit (May 25, 2011)

I don't think they can do better. I'd be too annoyed.

powerbait (May 25, 2011)

I like this band for what they are right now too. That doesn't mean I don't think they can be even better.

ifyoumakeit (May 25, 2011)

I like this band for what they are right now.

levi-dolphin (May 25, 2011)

this album is great they sound like green day hahahahaaha

benidle (May 25, 2011)

It could've been a way better album, if they were a way better band. I think this was the best they could do for now, but they'll probably get better if they don't break up. I think it's definitely relevant to compare them to Latterman, because I heard this album before hearing anything about the band, and I immediately just chalked it up as a Latterman fan-band.

teaessare (May 25, 2011)

At the commenter below:

Do you have ears? It sounds a lot like Latterman, but not as epic and awesome and catchy. It also sounds a lot like Get Bent.

That being said, this isn't bad at all. But it certainly is not original. They're a good band, and I think they can do better than just making a "Cut and Paste Part II"

wolfparty (May 25, 2011)

are people seriously still comparing spray to latterman?

are people seriously STILL TALKING ABOUT LATTERMAN IN 2011?!

i think anyone in latterman would tell you to check your head and check out their new projects, bands that have definitely surpassed latterman in quality of output. like, hello? iron chic? godfuckingdammit like give latterman a rest!

as for the wholly inaccurate spray/latterman comparison... it's inaccurate. they both can be loosely tagged as posi and... i think the comparisons can stop there. what part of funtitled sounds anything like a latterman song? in my opinion, latterman never did anything this thematically cohesive... this is a record about your hometowns, your goals, your direction in life! stop trying to act like spraynard are indebted to anyone but the people and events that inspire them.

chokingvictim (May 25, 2011)

probably the best people i've met in diy. this album rules.

eljordanodiablo (May 25, 2011)

Punknews kids do hate everything!! It's so fucking lame! This record is awesome! Stop comparing them to Latterman. They are way more positive than Latterman ever was....fuck The Gaslight Anthem

ballsackKY (May 25, 2011)

can't get in to it. I hear too much Latterman aping and not in a good way. Also the cover freaks me out.

leecorsoisapenis (May 25, 2011)

"Your...your band's name is Spray?

It's short...for Spraynard."

I am not disappointed in you Spraynard. I love this record.

wearestillalive (May 25, 2011)

I actually 100% agree with this review. It's a really good record but it could have been a truly great one.

indecay (May 25, 2011)

Really good.

mcfly (May 25, 2011)

"There is a tendency to let the song fade with vocals, and while that works in small doses, the music here is interesting enough that I don't want it to simply fade away. " Agreed.

Still a really really amazing record. Gets better every listen.

sandsky (May 25, 2011)

MuhammadMoron: Take Fred Durst's dick in your arse then. Seriously, if you're gonna get mad that a band isn't original, stop listening to music. Or film. Or TV. And stop talking too, because everything you have, are, and will ever say has been said before.

SandwichBeard (May 25, 2011)

I've played a handfull of shows with these dudes, and even played a couple tour dates with them, and they're about as real as they come. This album rules and these dudes rule.

getbetterrecords (May 25, 2011)

i personally wonder if the kids who talk all the shit could put out a better record! NOPE

Apeman_on_the_moon (May 24, 2011)

I wonder why people don't equate music the same way as they would, something like pizza. Yeah, so what if Teenage Bottlerocket sounds basically the same everytime. I fucking LIKE that sound. So what if you get the same pizza from the same place every weekend, you LIKE their pizza.

So what if Spraynard sounds a lot like bands such as Latterman. I LIKE those bands, and I LIKE that sound. That is why I like this record

I guess I am not surprised the Orgers would hate something like this. It's a fun record that makes you feel good about life. Most people who comment on reviews or stories here would rather listen to a 60 minute long growlfest while they get black-out drunk and hope they don't wake up in the morning.

I wonder if someone like MohammadMoron can ever actually just listen to music and enjoy it for what it is. Instead, he has to dissect it and bitch about stuff like song titles and album covers. Who fucking cares what the song is called?

Blackjaw_ (May 24, 2011)

So over-rated, so bits and pieces, accelerated, and so deceiving. Wait, it's all sounding the same. Rehashed beats and ... take the diversity away and make it all feel stale and vacant. Wait, it's all sounding the same. It's all charades and shadows. Call it trashing.

damnitsderek (May 24, 2011)

You remind me of the teacher who gives the smartest student in class a lower grade on a paper than other students not because their paper was worse, but because you 'know they could do better'.

As of May 24, 2011, this is the album of the fucking year.

traininvain56 (May 24, 2011)

I love this record, i love this band, i love these dudes, they have changed my life.

pblest (May 24, 2011)

this album is the best thing released this year. shitty people who sit on punknews and shit on other people's art as a vain attempt to be funny in the hope that other shitty people will comment and laugh about it are the worst kind of people. fuck.

danperrone (May 24, 2011)

eh, it's okay. bands should have stopped making music like this as soon as latterman released no matter where we go, because let's be serious...nothing in this genre is ever going to top that.

getbetterrecords (May 24, 2011)

punknews kids hate everything! this album kicks butt!

badbrain (May 24, 2011)

MuhammadMormon is just a rehash of commenters that sucked to begin with

MuhammadMormon (May 24, 2011)

Continuing...

Seriously? Your band name? Your album title? Your album cover? Your song titles? Were they TRYING to be more worthless than dogshit?

MuhammadMormon (May 24, 2011)

Ladies and gentlemen... I present to you, the absolute WORST album/band of the year!
Not one original thought put into this. Just a rehash of bands that sucked to begin with.

I'd honestly rather take Fred Durst's dick in my ass. The shittiest album to ever have the Asian Man Records logo attached to it.

I can keep going...

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