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Little Yellow Box: Et CeteraEt Cetera (2004)
Negative Progression Records
Reviewer Rating: 2.5
Contributed by: AubinAubin
(others by this writer | submit your own)
Sometimes the “For Fans Of...” stickers that adorn more and more independent releases these days are pretty helpful in writing the reviews. For example, the one on Little Yellow Box's debut, Et Cetera says “For Fans of At the Drive-In, Glassjaw and Coheed & Cambria” and I can say, with some certainty that is a great deal of truth in that little sticker.
Like their obvious idols, the Connecticut-based post-hardcore act takes emotional vocals, unorthodox melodies and sets them to a driving, unpredictable rhythm section. Frankly, the only difference between Little Yellow Box and At the Drive-In or Coheed & Cambria is the strong influence of Glassjaw vocalist Daryl Palumbo on the vocals, with frontman Steven Carr providing a near carbon copy of the aforementioned bands emotional and slightly unconventional vocal stylings.
But, despite their fairly blatant imitation of those bands, the record is surprisingly tolerable. With Cedric and Omar ditching the punks for the potheads, Jim hanging with the mellow indie kids, and Daryl... - well, the less said about Head Automatica the better - it's not like there is a glut of bands playing this style of post-hardcore particularly well, and that is what probably saves Et Cetera from being relegated to the critical scrap heap.
The first two tracks are certainly the strongest, both delivering a frenetic energy and solid hooks throughout. The remainder of the short 21 minute record is a little more scatter shot, with some ideas overused and other sections underdeveloped, but still interesting enough.
There is very little new about Et Cetera, but the band manages to take a sound blueprint and inject a little style and wit into it, and for that they should be proud. One can hope that they manage to define themselves as more than the sum of their influences for their next record, and I can imagine them referred to in the same breath as their idols.
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