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Summer's End - The Death of Celeste Blue (Cover Artwork)

Summer's End

Summer's End: The Death of Celeste BlueThe Death of Celeste Blue (2003)
Be Mine

Reviewer Rating: 1


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

The term "uneven" is thrown around frequently in a derogatory sense, but I have never been one to automatically deem unevenness an undesirable or terrible trait. Some art thrives on breaking the boundaries, shifting gears at unexpected times, and using such shock effectively. Sometimes it works. .
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The term "uneven" is thrown around frequently in a derogatory sense, but I have never been one to automatically deem unevenness an undesirable or terrible trait. Some art thrives on breaking the boundaries, shifting gears at unexpected times, and using such shock effectively. Sometimes it works. That said, Summer's End's debut album The Death of Celeste Blue is perhaps the most uneven matching of musical styles I have heard in a long time. However, this unevenness is not remotely interesting or well constructed, and frequently, it is more comical than revolutionary.

Self-described as melodic hardcore, I am weary of allowing that classification. This isn't melodic hardcore. No way. Certainly, some sloppy hardcore-esque screaming is present a few times on the album, mostly on the opening track, "An Occasion for Dying" and another, "Forgotten." But melodic hardcore? This is pop punk. Really poppy pop punk. The screams that pepper this generic music are forced and inorganic. The whole experience feels like a bastardization of two extremes of the spectrum–no meeting in the middle.

Melodic hardcore frontrunners, Death by Stereo, Strike Anywhere, Rise Against, and the like, utilize the energy and structure of hardcore music and fuse that with harmony and melody. With Summer's End, we have a poppy band sounding like say, a crappier Dynamite Boy who had a baby with Allister, then urinated on it and force fed it some interjecting throaty hardcore screams at sporadic moments. The music on The Death of Celeste Blue is messy, with simplistic guitar work and some out of pitch, flat vocals, but this forced and odd hybrid of brutal screams in this pop style magnifies the album's overall sloppiness. It's just not done well. It's more than uneven; it's just not effective in any way.

Unfortunately, The Death of Celeste Blue is not saved by it's lyrical content, which is filled with the all too common teenage anguish with limited emotional depth. On track, "Katydid," when singer Benny Snyder wails, "Always waiting, hesitating, such a while, I miss your smile," it evokes cringes. But if you can make it through that, soon, Snyder's voice echoes four times on "in your wildest dreams, dreams, dreams, dreams," at which point the entire scenario becomes laughable. Yawn. It's beyond generic. There's also only seven songs, and each runs a little too long for it's own good. The album is limited and the only resemblances of diversity are the deficient hardcore elements.

The thematic content here is rehash. Same old, same old slop about relationships, no real insight, no real emotion. The music is sloppy (the best word to describe it), and the laughable attempt at a hardcore fusion with this cliché pop punk sound simply does not work. This definitely isn't good hardcore, and it's not good pop. It brings back haunting similarities of what one might hear at a mediocre high school garage band's practice. But maybe Summer's End is not without hope. The theory of their musical fusion was an idea, though not one that works in the end. At least they tried something. The band is still quite young, and hopefully the future holds some maturation of sound and songwriting. Because by diverging their style and effort, Summer's End has given us nothing organic or listenable on this markedly poor debut release.

 


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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.
Anonymous (May 11, 2004)

hey man, your an ass hole whos too smart for his own good, every one needs a little pop punk now and then and maybe the sound is generic, well maybe it's what they truly feel and they wanted to just come out and say it rather than confusing symbolism that no one can understand but the artists, so jack ass, go to hell!

Anonymous (May 11, 2004)

hey man, your an ass hole whos too smart for his own good, every one needs a little pop punk now and then and maybe the sound is generic, well maybe it's what they truly feel and they wanted to just come out and say it rather than confusing symbolism that no one can understand but the artists, so jack ass, go to hell!

ommaddon (April 4, 2003)

Cool, cool. A four is more like it. I'm glad the band has a rockin live show....if they come to LA I'll give it a shot. I hope more of that live energy can be translated towards the next album. It will be interesting to see if the hardcore and pop elements can be better fused...

- Jonathan

Anonymous (April 4, 2003)

i laugh because, after reading that, you are correct.

I'm bringing my 10 down to a 4 since I only like 2 of the songs.

I just like their shows, sorry I got defensive there. They do have a ton of fans though.

ommaddon (April 3, 2003)

worst review ever? awesome.

But your argument is complete bullshit. Why would I have to see this band live to get it? I'm not reviewing a show. I'm not polling the fanbase. I'm reviewing this recording. And it isn't anywhere close to a mix tape. I wish it was a mix tape.... It's simply pop punk with weak hardcore screams. And you're giving this album a 10? All I can do is shake my head at that.

It sounds like you're too close to the music. This was my first exposure to the band. I live in LA..not the Chicago area. Even if Summer's End's live show blows great perfromers like, Avail, AFI, and Death by Stereo out of the water (doubtful...) this recording still can't compete. I'm sure the band has fans...I'm sure they're nice guys. But this album doesn't cut it. Sorry.

- Jonathan

Anonymous (April 2, 2003)

worst review ever

summers end is a compilation of 5 talented guys with different styles. they make each of themselves and a large fanbase happy. It may sound like a mix tape, but dont disregard it as "sloppy" or "uneven"

You would have to see them live to really get it i guess

ommaddon (April 2, 2003)

Benny--

The Be Mine Records promo write-up that accompanies the press release of this album describes Summer's End's sound as a "schizophrenic roller coaster ride" and categorizes the band as "melodic hardcore."

- Jonathan

evildeadalive (April 2, 2003)

That's funny, the guy in the band only gave it 1 1/2 stars...

Anonymous (April 1, 2003)

Can you tell me where the whole Melodic Hardcore label came from for us? Thanks, Benny/Summer's End, by the way that's not me singing those parts, its Jim. xxoo

ommaddon (April 1, 2003)

naaah. being good live is NOT the most important thing. that's just a different talent. really shitty hardcore...shitty pop... if there's a fanbase spreading like wildfire--- these "fans" need to check out some other music.

- Jonathan

Anonymous (April 1, 2003)

i love death of celeste blue, a little bit of something for everyone. they are very entertaining live, and thats the most important thing. they have a good fan base and its spreading like wild fire.

Anonymous (April 1, 2003)

I still miss Fathead.

- Scott
http://www.local-felons.com
(sometimes I put the / sometimes I don't)

maverick (April 1, 2003)

Insincere Dave is the best new gimmick on this site since... I don't even know when. Kudos.

-Scott

insinceredave (April 1, 2003)

I'm sure these guys will bounce back from this!

insincere dave

Anonymous (April 1, 2003)

Shitty album, good review ;)

Anonymous (April 1, 2003)

You NEED to see these guys live. Incredible.

evildeadalive (April 1, 2003)

They lost me when they named their band.

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