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Straylight Run - Prepare to Be Wrong (Cover Artwork)

Straylight Run

Straylight Run: Prepare to Be WrongPrepare to Be Wrong (2005)
Victory Records

Reviewer Rating: 2


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

It's hard to critique this record, just because it's so lopsided. There are moments that really do live up to the name, where it's surprising to hear this band actually produce some good music with replay value, but then there's also things like, well, some of the lyrics and the odd vocal stylings. .
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It's hard to critique this record, just because it's so lopsided. There are moments that really do live up to the name, where it's surprising to hear this band actually produce some good music with replay value, but then there's also things like, well, some of the lyrics and the odd vocal stylings.

Prepare to Be Wrong is another one of those overhyped albums that doesn't live up to it. The album intros with "I Don't Want This Anymore," a track where the female vocals are wasted and drowned out by overproduction and computer beats, with some recorded conversation taking up way too much time in what is easily the worst track on the little six-song disc. At this point I almost gave up on listening through, but figured there's got to be some redeeming qualities to this.

"It Never Gets Easier" is a pretty standard track. If you liked the full-length album, you'll probably like this song. I was kind of disturbed by the, well, seventh grade lyrics. It's just a song about putting on a facade when talking to people and how much you can't stand idiotic conversation. Well, I can't stand songs that take themselves too seriously, and this is one of them. One positive note on this song was how towards the end, the band showed promise of getting a bit heavier than they usually show; John Nolan's vocals are getting back to the rusty quality they had with his days in Taking Back Sunday. Unfortunately, it was just for a quick thirty-second bridge.

The first two songs are probably the worst offerings of the EP. Another notably bad song is "Later That Year," which is supposed to be a protest song (as half the EP seems to protest the war in Iraq). However, these are some of the lamest lyrics ever for a protest song, with stuff like "The voice inside my head just repeated / this is not the way we were told that it was going to be...and we know who is to blame / we did the math / it wasn't worth it after all."

There's a sort of Art Theory 101 foreshadowing here as the lyrics that say, "...just repeated..." lead into two minutes of repetition. Thanks, I get it, I went to art school too. There can be beauty in brevity. Also, it sounds like John is writing about feeling duped, and at what time, I wonder, did he ever think that the war would be worth it?

"A Slow Descent" is one of the band's first songs from the original demos that flooded the Internet back when they first started up. It's a full band version, and if you liked the demo, you'd like it just as much on the EP. But that's not the surprise that the EP offers.

There are two songs on the EP that are just dynamite. One, by default, doesn't count because it's a Bob Dylan cover, and when you cover an absolutely amazing songwriter it not only makes all your writing look like complete shit, but you're bound to have a good track unless you really fuck up. So, "With God on Our Side" is good and worth a listen, even though they changed up some of the lyrics.

However, "Hands in the Sky (Big Shot)" shows what this band could, and should, be doing musically. Ambient intros done properly, paranoid and well-written metaphorical lyrics instead of the straight-forward bullshit that preceded it. Then the biggest shock, when the marching band bass kicks in and Nolan actually starts singing like he cares about something again. It's the first time I've ever heard a song by this band where John actually seems to care about the words he wrote, and seems to want the audience to care too. The ending to this song is surprising, explosive, and is easily the best song this band has ever written.

Sadly, "Big Shot" and "God" don't make this EP worth the $10 Victory wants you to spend on it. However, it does offer a glimmer of hope that the band that was built on hype and Internet drama could actually offer something substantial to the music world as they continue to grow.

 


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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 30, 2006)

i must agree some of this album sucks. i think it was probably put out for contract reasons and to get hands in the sky out there. but you seriosly must stop comparing everything to tell all your friends it gets old. tbs and this bands new music isnt as horrible as you make it out to be. john quit tbs so he could make music that didnt fit with tbs,(and yeah the other reason too)

refusedpartyprogram (April 26, 2006)

Whoever said "It Never Gets Easy" is a Costello song is wrong...the song was just originally caleld "Costello", that's all.
and this reviewer suffers from some redundancy, ie: "Nolan actually starts singing like he cares about something again. It's the first time I've ever heard a song by this band where John actually seems to care about the words he wrote". You pretty much just said the same thing twice there.
Anyways, this is a pretty decent EP, I like the whole protest song vibe is has to it (I don't know where that poster below got the idea that Nolan was pro-war from), I think "Later That Year" and "I Don't Want This Anymore" are really beautiful songs, and of course "A Slow Descent" is great, glad they put it on an album, I was disappointed it didn't make the full length. And the Dylan cover is of course great. I could take or leave "It Never Gets Easier" but yeah, I think this is a real solid ep.

Anonymous (April 17, 2006)

Perhaps not the **best album** of the year, but very heart-felt & reflective. I truly enjoyed it, not the same-old "stamped out" trendy pop/punk music on your local radio station. Thanks, guys!

At least they have eyes to see and ears to hear. Check out the video for Big Shot/Hands in the Sky--truly awesome. And the title: Prepare to Be Wrong. Prophetic, wouldn't you say? Wake up America. The BEAST is awakening, and we are in for a BIG SURPRISE.

When things start heating up here in America (WWIII--after we bomb Iran or perhaps sooner with another "fake terror attack" in the homeland) go to watchmanreport.com

Or go there now, and PREPARE TO BE WRONG!

tylerdurden8136 (March 31, 2006)

go kill yourself, colin.

Anonymous (February 6, 2006)

This was so disappointing after their awesome debut album. The first track is worthless, and a couple others suffer from trying to use too much electronic/ambience stuff. Hands in the Sky was really the only track on the album that I enjoyed. And by the only track I enjoyed, I mean really really enjoyed. That track almost saves the entire doomed effort.

Anonymous (January 26, 2006)

You guys are awesome. I love your music and keep it up.When you guys sing your music , I some times feel like crying.Which is a good thing.

Anonymous (November 21, 2005)

This band is amazing!

Anonymous (October 25, 2005)

I have to say that I disagree with this review. I'm a new fan to Straylight Run and found it enjoyable. I do agree that I skip the first song most of the time while listening to the ep, but on the whole, it was worth the money I spent for it. John Nolan is incredible, and if anything, your praise for Big Shot proves this. Not everyone is going to like every kind of music obviously, but this review seemed a little more biased to the harder side.

Also, on a side note, lowering yourself to making lewd comments, even in sarcasm, slashes at your credibility.

CastawayKrissy@msn.com

bloodbrothersburnpiano (October 24, 2005)

several things i want to say here.

1. "I wonder if Fred has a bad feeling about this." this comment is fucking funny.

2. the first track should be completely ignored.

3. "it never gets an easier" is an elvis costello cover, so you can't knock the lyrics, seeing as john didn't write them.

4. the lyrics to "later that year" don't matter because the song is beautiful. so is the new version of "a slow descent"

this is the best shit since the demos.

GreenVandal (October 23, 2005)

woohoo! comment button!

Yeah. CoCa was pretty good live. They were better then Dredg at least. Their lighting was really irritating though...

The Blood Brothers owned the show though. Only about a 1/8th of the audience knew what the fuck was going on and I just happened to get stuck standing in one of the "this band sucks" sectors. Singing along to all the words and jumping around by yourself is pretty fun, especially when all the kids around you wont stop taslking about how "all this shit is is noise."

Ride on!

Anonymous (October 22, 2005)

Hands in the Sky is a whole lot of awesome. Score is for that song.

lou (October 22, 2005)

thank you to the person who told me hands in the sky was downloadable on purevolume. i have to jump on the bandwagon and reitterate how impressive it is. scores for the song.

the reviewer was right about the marching band bass, and the vocals actually sounding like they have some feeling to them.

ps - the argument in this thread is pricelessly entertaining.

colin (October 22, 2005)

coheed's not a bad live band

their music, however, is bad.

except the second stage turbine blade. 3 songs off of that second cd with too long of a title and 1 song off the new cd.

GreenVandal (October 22, 2005)

Im registered and I say stupid shit all the time.

I just went and saw Coheed and Cambria and they werent bad. They were pretty good actually.

See, I did it again!

colin (October 22, 2005)

man i'm fucking drunk as shit right now and i've gotta just reinterate inagreendase comment... "hands in the sky (big shot)" is a year end of the mix ttape good fucking song. just... there's nothing bad about it, when you take into account the genre and whatnot.

colin (October 21, 2005)

i have seen intelligent posts by anonymous posters

and i have seen stupid posts by anonymous posters

but i have never seen a stupid post by someone who registers (and posts on a regular basis). i remember tylerdurden used to have an obsession with gerard from my chemical romance, but i really think the best thing to do is to avoid ever responding to anonymous posters, especailly straylight run fans.

stevejonestherealbones (October 21, 2005)

"yeah i doubt that
any guy who has to brag about the size of his penis on the internet is really lacking down there

come on
anyone who's read the intro to a psych textbook could tell you that"

considering it was a response to a lame put down, i dont think its considered coming online and bragging about how big my dick is. besides all this shit was tongue in cheek. i dont know if you read the rest of the stuff that was written. maybe you dont have any reading comprehension skills, so i doubt you understand anything that has ever been written in a psych text book

- jones the bones

- stevejones8770@yahoo.com

GreenVandal (October 21, 2005)

""no, she said it was like i had a five year old swinging between my legs, it was that big....of course that is an exageration....but you get the idea"

yeah i doubt that
any guy who has to brag about the size of his penis on the internet is really lacking down there

come on
anyone who's read the intro to a psych textbook could tell you that"

your pretty gullible.

Anonymous (October 21, 2005)

sarcasm is telling me you can get laid without raping a girl

colin (October 21, 2005)

http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=sarcasm

Anonymous (October 21, 2005)

"no, she said it was like i had a five year old swinging between my legs, it was that big....of course that is an exageration....but you get the idea"

yeah i doubt that
any guy who has to brag about the size of his penis on the internet is really lacking down there

come on
anyone who's read the intro to a psych textbook could tell you that

stevejonestherealbones (October 21, 2005)

"shit that was you
my mom told me about you
you're the guy who is hung like a 5 year old"

no, she said it was like i had a five year old swinging between my legs, it was that big....of course that is an exageration....but you get the idea

- jones the bones

- stevejones8770@yahoo.com

- and way to put me down by acknowledging that i did have your gf lick my asshole while a fucked your mom and then you made out with her

etwiels88 (October 21, 2005)

The biggest damn five year old this side of the mississippi!

Anonymous (October 21, 2005)

"OH YEAH???!!!! well i beat up your dad and fucked your mom while i made your slutty girlfriend lick my asshole and drink your sisters piss

then i had her go to your place and make out with you

neener neener neener!!!!"

shit that was you
my mom told me about you
you're the guy who is hung like a 5 year old

colin (October 21, 2005)

hahahahahahahahahaha

score is for jones

stevejonestherealbones (October 21, 2005)

"the last time i saw them play live your girlfriend sucked me off during that song
that's why i enjoy it so much
it reminds me of her swallowing my hot load"

OH YEAH???!!!! well i beat up your dad and fucked your mom while i made your slutty girlfriend lick my asshole and drink your sisters piss

then i had her go to your place and make out with you

neener neener neener!!!!

- jones the bones

- stevejones8770@yahoo.com

- thats how you handle kids like that colin.

colin (October 21, 2005)

hey slick nice try, but your combined musical taste and cliche wit tells me you're far too young to get worked up arguing with.

also, the reason people usually use mom jokes instead of girlfriend ones is that not everyone's got a girlfriend. good try though. better luck next time.

Anonymous (October 21, 2005)

"seriously you actually liked 'it never gets easier'? it's the most childish bullshit song i've heard in along time."

the last time i saw them play live your girlfriend sucked me off during that song
that's why i enjoy it so much
it reminds me of her swallowing my hot load

poopypants (October 21, 2005)

'I wonder if Fred has a bad feeling about this."

hahahah w/ a comment like that you gotta get a real name here mr. anonymous

paul

colin (October 21, 2005)

"If your a fan, you'll enjoy this record"

not true
i love these guys and i think this EP is shit
it never gets easier is the only decent track on there

this is probablly one of the biggest disappointments of the year

it'll be okay.

seriously you actually liked 'it never gets easier'? it's the most childish bullshit song i've heard in along time.

Anonymous (October 21, 2005)

"If your a fan, you'll enjoy this record"

not true
i love these guys and i think this EP is shit
it never gets easier is the only decent track on there

this is probablly one of the biggest disappointments of the year

superdude (October 21, 2005)

This review was pretty good, but here's how I would make it better:

1. Would I be able to convince my dean at university to give me credit for listening to Art Theory 101?

2. Does "Prepare to be Wrong" serve to warn people who thought they would like this album?

3. This band should just do Taking Back Sunday covers.

4. So we've got internet drama, but what I want is internet romantic comedies.

Anonymous (October 21, 2005)

okay, i really wanna hear this last song.

You can download it on their purevolume page. It really is pretty fucking good, but if the rest of the EP is as average as the review claims I probably won't bother buying it.

GreenVandal (October 21, 2005)

HA you fuckers! I was prepared to be right and I was.

This is indeed crap.

colin (October 21, 2005)

What lyrics did they change in the Bob Dylan cover?

They're playing with matches there.

not too much. they left out a couple verses and then changed "russians" to "others" in "i've learned to hate russians...", just because we don't live in the cold war era i guess.

it's not a huge change, and actually one that i can see as to why it was changed, due to chronological context. in the end... i mean, you can't cover dylan really, especially if you're straylight run. but it's worth a listen. john nolan hits some good notes in the song.

almostpunkenough (October 21, 2005)

they should just call this "Prepare to be Bored".

OHHHH SHIT!!! what a wicked jagged burn!

lou (October 21, 2005)

okay, i really wanna hear this last song.

Sellout05 (October 21, 2005)

I'll have to disagree with this review. i thought the record was a pretty damn good one.

-"overhyped?" overhyped was TBS "Where You Want to Be" this was actually a good EP overall.

and maybe john nolan thought the war WAS a good idea...so what? alot of people did and there's nothing wrong with that. It's the people who still believe everything that are the problem.

If your a fan, you'll enjoy this record....if not get the S/T first, it's a full length so obviously it's a better introduction to the band.

etwiels88 (October 21, 2005)

Big Shot is the only song worth listening to on this thing.

colton (October 21, 2005)

Brian, we know they're a snoozefest, but that's what they're going for. Right?

Anonymous (October 21, 2005)

I wonder if Fred has a bad feeling about this.

inagreendase (October 21, 2005)

Pretty much agreed with the review. This thing's a total snoozefest, but "Hands in the Sky" is really, really, really good. Like, year-end mixtape good. No joke.

Anonymous (October 21, 2005)

What lyrics did they change in the Bob Dylan cover?

They're playing with matches there.

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