Building from their success of their retardedly titled, but solid debut Light A Match For I Deserve To Burn (Marketing Director: "So this is really the album title?" Band: "Uh, yeah‚?¶" Marketing Director: "Hellooooooooo emo kids!"), The Beautiful Mistake return with an equally solid, equally average followup.
So what's happened since the last record? Well, they've bought a slew of effects pedals, and they've been listening to a lot of Failure and Hum. I mean‚?¶a lot. I'll put it this way: in the liner notes they give thanks to a bunch of bands for "Friendship and Influence", the last four listed being Failure, Catherine Wheel, Elvis, and U2, all of whose influence shows up distinctly on the record (okay, maybe not Elvis, but you're getting the picture).
Asides from some muted hootin' and hollerin' in "Cold Hearts (For Tired Souls)" and some at the end of "A Safe Place" (which, for the record, is not as good as the demo version that initially appeared on the most recent Plea For Peace comp), there is virtually no more screaming on this ship anymore. What they have managed to do is craft a consistent, more spacey, rock leaning record. While the hooks are not that apparent, they really come out in repeated listenings. Songs like the title track and the first single (whose video is included on the CD. Well shot, but kinda lame‚?¶I seriously recommend checking out the video for "On Building" from their last record‚?¶that was brilliant) and the Snapcase-esque "A Friendly Committee" are extremely catchy tunes. "Wide and Wasted" and "Walking Wounded" mine from the Failure catalogue like nobody's business. So much so that I keep waiting for Ken Andrews to start singing somewhere, even the lead guitar lines are extremely Failure-like. Honestly, the only reason I'm letting this go is a) they're one of the better Failure rip off bands, and b) I really miss Failure. Nothing spectacular or original, yet it really seems like the guys spent a lot of time crafting these songs, adding different layers of atmospherics and textures to their sound. Plus the artwork, like on the debut album, is ridiculously good.
Overall, the record goes from average to good at times. Not that amazing, but it's ok. Looks like Cave-In's got some competition in the "wannabe-Failure" category now.