Abandoned Pools - Armed to the Teeth (Cover Artwork)

Abandoned Pools

Abandoned Pools: Armed to the TeethArmed to the Teeth (2005)
Universal Music Group

Reviewer Rating: 1.5

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

Tommy Walter needs some Vicks Vaporub, and he needs it fast. I don't think I've ever heard a singer so nasally congested in my life. Well, alright, maybe Tom Delonge or Jordan Pudnik are pretty high up there as well, but this guy's got some serious clout in the hierarchy of sinus challenged singers..
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Tommy Walter needs some Vicks Vaporub, and he needs it fast. I don't think I've ever heard a singer so nasally congested in my life. Well, alright, maybe Tom Delonge or Jordan Pudnik are pretty high up there as well, but this guy's got some serious clout in the hierarchy of sinus challenged singers.

This really becomes a problem because of the kind of music that Abandoned Pools play. It's not token pop-punk, but instead, long, drawn out pop-rock. To give a general idea as to just how drawn out the songs actually are, the twelve-song album isn't far away from an hour in length. That's simply too long to hope to retain somebody's attention with this sort of music, especially if the vocalist is as much of a hindrance as he is.

In reality, a lot of these tunes, monotonous as they do become, could be pretty solid with an accomplished singer. Songs like these need somebody who can really draw out the long notes in the chorus, and really make it sound gorgeous and inviting. The vocals are written to be soaring in many spots, but what ends up happening is that they have trouble making it off the ground. This is especially problematic given the real lack of presence that the instrumentation has. As with the vocals, it's spotty, and can really be enjoyable, but when it fails, it fails hard. "Rabble" showcases a band with some dreamy melodies and catchy hooks. The vocals defy their own sound here, to be really enjoyable, with the tight underlying rhythm propelling the track along.

As hard as the band tries on Armed to the Teeth, they just have trouble replicating that kind of song. When you have specific limitations as a band, it's imperative to work with them, instead of trying to ignore them altogether as they often do. "Hunting" relies on solely the vocals for much of the duration, with the instrumentation being barely audible, but the singer simply cannot hold the weight of the entire band on his back. Being decent isn't enough to make good songs out of forgettable structures. And as much as importance is placed in those structures, execution fails the band as well; there's just no way that one can be expected to be engaged by their tiresome musings for as long as they require.

Plain and simple, the band tries too many tricks with too little talent. It's blunt, but it's true. The whole epic pop-rock sound isn't their bag, and the quicker they come to that realization, the better off they'll be.


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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 (February 28, 2006)

1.5 stars? Are you SERIOUS? Somebody needs to clean their ears out, this album is GREAT. I loved Humanistic, and upon first listening to Armed to the Teeth, I thought it wasn't as good because the mood seemed different, but now that I've listened to it a few times it has really grown on me and I feel like it might be even better than Humanistic.

Some of the music is sure to give you eargasms, I love the bigness that some of the music has. Almost symphonic in some cases. I have yet to listen to it on a really good system (mainly my mp3 player's earbuds and a little bit on my desktop speakers) but I'm sure it will sound amazing.

I didn't even know they had a new album till I check cduniverse. Anyway, don't listen to the first review, check this album out for yourself. It rocks.

Anonymous (February 27, 2006)

Well have you had you fill of culture everyone. I mean these commenst were so harsh you would think each of you had the most sensitive ears and highly tuned music minds in the world. Come back and complain about others music when you have a successful music career. I thought the album was great and if you didnt thats fine but you dont have to hit way below the belt. Let out your frustrations on something else dont just go bad mouth someone whos worked so hard on something to make you feel better.

Anonymous (February 12, 2006)

i really like this album. i think it's an improvement over the last one.

benz (February 10, 2006)

I've heard some songs from this, it's not as bad as the review says. I think the reviewer got hung up too much on the voice, but I can see that as a hugely viable reason not to like them.

If the voice doesn't bother you it's a good release.


benz (February 10, 2006)

I loved their last album. You're right about his voice though.

Anonymous (February 10, 2006)

this has been out for a few years but now it comes out

Anonymous (February 10, 2006)

these guys did the theme to CLONE HIGH. dope track.

Anonymous (February 10, 2006)

lol, these guys are still around? lame.

Anonymous (February 10, 2006)

I loved "Humanistic" back in the day. I figured that was the only thing that these guys would ever release, but when you wait four years between albums, you need to do better than this. Big regression, big disappointment.

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