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LaGrecia - On Parallels (Cover Artwork)

LaGrecia

LaGrecia: On ParallelsOn Parallels (2008)
Suburban Home Records

Reviewer Rating: 3
User Rating:


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

From his early days in Kid Dynamite to his later days fronting None More Black, Jason Shevchuk has, perhaps unwillingly, acquired a divine status among many in the punk community. From the message board trolls clamoring for a Kid Dynamite reunion to the dread many of those same people felt when None.
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From his early days in Kid Dynamite to his later days fronting None More Black, Jason Shevchuk has, perhaps unwillingly, acquired a divine status among many in the punk community. From the message board trolls clamoring for a Kid Dynamite reunion to the dread many of those same people felt when None More Black initially disbanded, the dude's got quite the following. And whether Shevchuk likes it or not, his distinctive voice -- both aurally and lyrically -- make him the focal point of every project he's involved with. Think about it: Would Kid Dynamite have been anything more than a run-of-the-mill hardcore band without him? Would None More Black be anything more than a run-of-the-mill pop-punk band without him? This dominative habit continues with LaGrecia on what ends up being their sole release, On Parallels.

"None More Black, but slower" and "Kid Dynamite, but way slower" comparisons are too easy. But it's hard to deny that LaGrecia's sonic attack would have been well-served by being half a step faster. It almost sounds as if the band was consciously trying to sound different than anything else Shevchuk has done, and sometimes it comes off a tad forced.

That's not to say there aren't some gems to be found here. "According to My Notes" is enjoyable, "Filler" has some interesting guitar parts, the passion behind "In the Grass" is contagious, and "Two Shotguns" may be the first blues-core song I've ever heard.

But there's also a lot of mid-tempo stuff here that seemingly takes forever to end ("Manasses," "Can't Go Back to Daddy's"). Can't fault them for wanting to try something new, but with the exception of the dramatic "Silently Just," the attempts largely fall flat. It's a shame too, because Shevchuk's voice has never sounded better -- it's just the music backing him up that's, well, boring some of the time.

The musical gumbo LaGrecia has cooked up on On Parallels -- using power-pop, `90s emo and classic rock influences -- isn't terrible by any means, but it could've used more spices and some additional time on the stove.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
The Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!The Gaslight Anthem - The '59 SoundAlkaline Trio - GoddamnitAgainst Me! - As The Eternal CowboyThe Lawrence Arms - The Greatest Story Ever ToldDillinger Four - C I V I L W A RThe Lawrence Arms - Apathy and ExhaustionThe Loved Ones - Keep Your HeartAgainst Me! - Searching For A Former ClarityAgainst Me! - is Reinventing Axl Rose

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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.
imisschampion (April 20, 2012)

Brutal review. Boring? Easily one of the best albums that came out that year.

HankMurphy (November 20, 2009)

i have only made it past "hey medic" once. should have been a single

abracadaver (August 13, 2008)

Brutal review. This album kicks major ass.

SloaneDaley (July 18, 2008)

so far most people don't think the score is unfair or that it is a bad review in terms of writing what they have issue with is that the review doesn't talk about the album much at all. The problem with the review isn't that it is poorly written or that it gives a low score it is that it is an important album to some people and the review about it wasn't very informative.

ElroyCohen (July 18, 2008)

Why do some people have such a hard time with the criticism that this cd is boring? It's not terrible. It's just not good. It's average. Fair to middling. Doesn't do a whole lot to discern itself. It's just there. Nothing exciting. Nothing memorable. Some people will like it, some people won't. Deal with it.

paulrulzdood (July 18, 2008)

NMB, not NMG...yeesh

paulrulzdood (July 18, 2008)

maybe I'm a retard, but I think this sounds like a natural progression from what he was doing on the last NMG album...some of the slower more blues-rock influenced stuff on the last NMG album would fit right in on this album, they're really not all that diffferent IMHO.

Two Shotguns sounds like fall out boy, no offense. "hey medic" doesn't flow worth a damn, but tracks 2,3,4 and 11 are off the chain. solid album, but doesn't deserve more than 3 or 3.5 stars, c'mon guys, get off Jason's dick for a minute.

paulrulzdood (July 18, 2008)

i agree with Olmec, the Montage is easily one of the 5 best songs on the album and the cover art is off the chain. too bad the CD doesn't come with lyrics or liner notes worth a shit. Goddammit, some of us still buy CDs!

Paul

olmec (July 18, 2008)

This is a great album. "The Montage" hasn't been mentioned in the review or the comments, but I think it's up there with the best album closers that I've heard.

Oh, and how about that artwork? Easily the best artwork I've seen on an album. I can't wait till my lp comes in the mail so that I can see it full-size.

R3vengeTherapy (July 18, 2008)

he did and he didn't like it, plain and simple.
fact is - this album is boring, there's no way around that.
he still gave the album an above-average score, but that wasn't good enough for some of you... you want 8-10 stars every time.


I'm not sure why this album is boring...I can't really tell why anyone thinks that because no one will give a legit reason. I don't want a score of 8-10, I don't even give a shit about the score and never said I did. I want someone to write a review that knows how to communicate what it is they like or dislike about an album. There are plenty of people who write reviews on this site that are very informative to the point where I can gauge whether I might like a record or not. This is not one of those reviews. It just feels like he listened a couple times and quickly wrote a review to try to be the first to do so.

mikeinflames (July 18, 2008)

great review. good album. still waiting for my copy though. stupid liner notes.

Rastid (July 17, 2008)

This is a great and accurate review. I fully support it. It is also coherent and well-written.

telegraphrocks (July 17, 2008)

This review should be deleted, and another should be written by someone who has NEVER heard Kid Dynamite OR None More Black, because neither matter with LaGrecia.

Album of the year.... right here (for me).

paulrulzdood (July 17, 2008)

definitly a "grower", the first time I listened I thought it was mediocre at best, each time now I like it a little more, there's a handful of great songs on here...but overall, i like NMB more, little more rockin'

Paul

thus_spoke_sean (July 17, 2008)

he still gave the album an above-average score, but that wasn't good enough for some of you... you want 8-10 stars every time.


the problem is, people are used to bad reviews (im not going to comment on the quality of this one, one way or the other), and they are used to albums that they 'like' having four stars. Four Stars should be for albums that you 'love' three stars isnt BAD. one-two = bad.

fallingupwards84 (July 17, 2008)

The problem is that if you're going to write a review, you're supposed to actually try to give it a chance.

he did and he didn't like it, plain and simple.
fact is - this album is boring, there's no way around that.
he still gave the album an above-average score, but that wasn't good enough for some of you... you want 8-10 stars every time.

fuzzy (July 17, 2008)

I think its a quality review, I know exactly what to expect from this album, although a few more naming of the influences would be nice.

R3vengeTherapy (July 17, 2008)

victim
I don't see the problem.

The problem is that if you're going to write a review, you're supposed to actually try to give it a chance. And you're supposed to talk about the music. Because, you know, that's the point of a review. Are you brain dead?

smitty (July 17, 2008)

Didn't I read on here that they were putting this album up to download for free?

The_Bongo_Man (July 17, 2008)

Favorite album so far this year

victim (July 16, 2008)

Gotta agree with the reviewer I listened to it two or three times and found myself zoning out. I agree that According To My Notes is a good song but its not so great to make me give this more listens on the chance that it might be a "grower". I don't remember any of the other songs and overall the album is just too slow for my tastes.

Reviewer seems like he gave it a fair chance, didn't hate it or anything, but found it boring.

I don't see the problem.

marthaplimpton (July 16, 2008)

the songs the reviewer claims are slow and boring are some of my favorites on the record.

someone stated this was a poor review; i have to agree because the only thing the reviewer took into account was the speed of the songs.

seems like their score was just for jason's vocals

INDW (July 16, 2008)

"i love how if any reviewer doesnt give an "orgcore" band an 8 or higher, they get crucified by a few of the people here..."

Let's phrase this differently: "When a lot of people think a score is wrong, some of those people will say so."

Yeah, I can totally see what the issue is.

badbrain (July 16, 2008)

Oh yeah and I think I like My Lightening the best. Probably between that and According To My Notes

badbrain (July 16, 2008)

This album and '59 Sound is all I've been listening to for the past couple weeks. I don't understand how anyone can say this is boring. It's far less boring than the second half of every None More Black record. No skippable tracks, and basically every song has something infectiously catchy about it.

According To My Notes has one of the catchiest chorus' in recent memory. Something to the effect of: "Oh Pandora / I gotta claim / all the things that you're trying to take from me / I gotta tell ya / you got me right where you want me / I hate the way that you're making me beg / for the strength to stay out of your way / oh Pandora, Pandora / why oh why do you love me?"

That riff in Hey Medic is pretty sweet to. This is just a solid album all the way through, but you have to take it for what it is and not as just another Shevchuk band to be compared to his other bands. As others have stated.

booker_pee (July 16, 2008)

I loved Kid Dynamite as much as the next org visitor, but i thought none more black was pretty much boring as hell.

this album is anything but boring as hell. listen to "according to my notes" and tell me that's NOT a huge pop song. so catchy. everyone who digs this album has a different favourite song. that should tell you how good every song on here is.

killdefenses (July 16, 2008)

i think this is the only thing shevchuk's ever done that i was bored to tears with.

Scandelicious (July 16, 2008)

oops i meant they would be more than that anyway if he was singing too

which is odd, how come it took so long for yemin to do lead vocals? i mean you could hear how good his vocals were in the old lifetime days too. i kinda like his vocals more than jason, i don't know, actually they aren't really comparable

Scandelicious (July 16, 2008)

"Would Kid Dynamite have been anything more than a run-of-the-mill hardcore band without him?"

not if they had dan yemin singing ;)

Grue (July 16, 2008)

This is better than None More Black.

blanktapesemptybottles (July 16, 2008)

I'm sick of everyone talking about this, I still haven't got my copy yet!!! damn the $60 package... oh well it's going to be worth it I've seen the pictures

SloaneDaley (July 16, 2008)

i love how if any reviewer doesnt give an "orgcore" band an 8 or higher, they get crucified by a few of the people here...

I think the score fits it might be worth a 7 BUT the review didn't talk about the actual album all that much which I think people are taking issue with.

R3vengeTherapy (July 16, 2008)

I think this is a pretty piss-poor review. The way it's written, I have a hard time believing he listened more than a few times. This one's a grower. I've found something to like about every track on the record and it is by no means "boring." He also did very little to mention what he liked/disliked about the songs and it feels like he just wanted to write it to be contrary, since a lot of people that read this site are "supposed" to like this.

I think I may write a review that actually highlights the strengths and weaknesses of this album. It's fine if someone doesn't like it, or god forbid HATES it, but give me some sound reason behind why you're not liking it that much.

"You Like Baseball, I Like Ghosts" is easily one of the best songs on any record I've heard this year. Flippin' amazing.

suburbanxcore (July 16, 2008)

"I think a 6 is pretty dead on. The songs all have really good parts but I find myself getting bored and skipping ahead. It takes a lot of talent to be concise, and without someone else in the band to reign him in, Shevchuk doesn't seem to know when to stop."

This is totally true. I actually said the same thing in a blog review I did for this.

fallingupwards84 (July 16, 2008)

i love how if any reviewer doesnt give an "orgcore" band an 8 or higher, they get crucified by a few of the people here...

come on, 6/10 is still an above average score.
he didn't say it was terrible.

thus_spoke_sean (July 16, 2008)

I'm surprised this even review even got posted given the love. 6 review for '59 sound coming up?

i'm going to write a review for it next week, and i plan on giving it a six or a seven. some GREAT songs, but overall I think its a meriocre album.

INDW (July 16, 2008)

damn lack of edit. that first sentence doesn't even make sense. you get the point thou I'm sure...

INDW (July 16, 2008)

I am surprised at some of the lackluster comments below and I'm surprised this even review even got posted given the love. 6 review for '59 sound coming up?

Think this is a top album. If you're marking this down because it isn't 'cheap shots, youth anthems' then you're making a mistake. Significantly better than most 8s and 9s on this site.

mikexdude (July 16, 2008)

Kid Dynamite was the best thing this guy ever did.

-Strewtho- (July 16, 2008)

"On This Is Satire, the slower songs felt lifeless and boring." - I disagree, Majestic is one of the best on there.
I only listened to the stream for this twice and it was solid, like it enough to purchase and spin it more.

damnitsderek (July 15, 2008)

"The only thing I really don't care for on the album is that annoying "Oh, oh oh oh oh oh" in Two Shotguns."

Don't kill me, but honest to god Shevchuk sounds reminescent of Patrick Stump when he sings that.

GlassPipeMurder (July 15, 2008)

Great songs.

cannot back a 6/10 for this.

xote (July 15, 2008)

Wow, punknews commenters really do suck this guys dick.

branden (July 15, 2008)

more of an 8 than a 6. the first shevchuk band i've been able to really enjoy.

kolen009 (July 15, 2008)

I don't know if it's honestly worth an objective 10, but if an album makes me want to listen to it more than 2 times back to back then it's a 10 in my book. So far I haven't gotten tired of it. But I will say I was pretty disappointed/didn't like it at all the first 2-3 times I heard it. Give it a chance, it's a grower. I thought of a lot of the musical motifs in it were strange an awkward at first but it's great how Shevchuk can weave it all together. At least a 9. far less for the review.

kidentropy (July 15, 2008)

Mid-tempo =/= bad

I hate to disagree with someone's opinion, 'cause it's not really cool, but On Parallels is my favorite album of the year and I never feel that drag that you're talking about.

damo (July 15, 2008)

meh - found this quite dull which is a shame as i really liked NMB

i love it how posters kick off if someone dares to review a record and score less than 8

liked the review

kevinh (July 15, 2008)

I think a 6 is pretty dead on. The songs all have really good parts but I find myself getting bored and skipping ahead. It takes a lot of talent to be concise, and without someone else in the band to reign him in, Shevchuk doesn't seem to know when to stop.

I think this site should stop using star ratings and just stick with written reviews. Let people make decisions based on the description, not just look quickly at the number and then get all up in arms. A 6/10 means different things to different people. I see a 6/10 as a good album that's a fun listen, whereas other people (who won't rate albums they like any lower than a 9) see it as an insult.

phantomboner (July 15, 2008)

"The only thing I really don't care for on the album is that annoying "Oh, oh oh oh oh oh" in Two Shotguns."

Yo tambien.

telegraphrocks (July 15, 2008)

Anyone who rates this album below an 8 is going to get a visit from me... you're all getting swash-buckled.

telegraphrocks (July 15, 2008)

Six? A fucking six????
Fucking ridiculous!

This is the best fucking album out this year.
Keep listening to Jimmy Eat World (sorry to be a dick there, the rest of your 'top bands' and 'top albums' ain't bad... but... I'll stab your face with a sword).

IanIsSuperRad (July 15, 2008)

The only thing I really don't care for on the album is that annoying "Oh, oh oh oh oh oh" in Two Shotguns.

cuapunkradio (July 15, 2008)

I like a few of the songs but Jason cannot seem to put together a cohesive album...songs just fucking ramble

cronophrog (July 15, 2008)

Wrong.

TheMike (July 15, 2008)

I agree with the rating, but the slow songs, along with "You Like Baseball, I Like Ghosts" are the standouts for me. "Don't Wanna Be Right / Filler" is awful. The rockout in "Hey Medic" is dull. That last song doesn't do much for me either. Still, a decent album, but they should have put more time into the writing of it.

RondoMondo (July 15, 2008)

It's not as good as any of his other output but it's certainly a great cd.

Dante3000 (July 15, 2008)

I heard the other title for this album was "Bang the Drum(er) Softly".

Do kids like music?
-Dante

halfcutskeleton (July 15, 2008)

I was pretty disappointed by this.I keep listening to it hoping it will click. I love NMB but this just is missing something.

llmp (July 15, 2008)

Wow, it's amazing how two different reviews can have two totally different opinions. I can see not liking how poppy it is, but this album is not boring in the least.

damnitsderek (July 15, 2008)

Orgers who love fighting in review threads are STOKED.

Problematiclogic (July 15, 2008)

blah blah blah Jason's old bands...let it go and enjoy this for what it is.

The music on this is superb and original, and it's one of my favourites of the year so far.

red_eye_inc (July 15, 2008)

This guy's getting by on credit from his previous output. The songs just aren't there.

mikexdude (July 15, 2008)

I'm going with you on the review.

MrStylson (July 15, 2008)

One other thing, Kid Dynamite without Jason would've been Lifetime, which is not a run-of-the-mill band.

MrStylson (July 15, 2008)

One thing I forgot to mention, the reason this album is better than This Is Satire is due entirely to the slower songs. On This Is Satire, the slower songs felt lifeless and boring. "Slower Than Manasses" is a brilliant song.

MrStylson (July 15, 2008)

I have to completely disagree here. The songs are slower, yes, but not in the least bit boring, and from the demos of his OnGuard stuff, this in no way sounds forced. This is the direction he's been heading.

This album is a 10, simply because Jason has released a very powerful collection of albums through his various projects, and On Parallels is the pinnacle of his career.

scientistrock (July 15, 2008)

It's no xboundx.

mattramone (July 15, 2008)

I see where you're coming from when you describe it as forced. There were definitely parts that, intentional or not, sounded way too deliberate and fussy instead of just rocking out. I wasn't expecting to have my face melted off, but this record could definitely have standed to be more limber and agile.

kidnickeldynamiteback (July 15, 2008)

I stopped reading when you said Kid Dynamite would be a run-of-the-mill hardcore band without Jason. Do you even know who Dan Yemin is? Dumbass.

SloaneDaley (July 15, 2008)

the review isn't bad but a little scant on discussing the album's music.

bryne (July 15, 2008)

"Filler" is listed as the name of the track both on eMusic (where I downloaded it) and on Vinyl Collective, but at the stream on this site it's listed as "Don't Wanna Be Right." My bad?

Brian, feel free to fix it if it's actually wrong.

misterspike (July 15, 2008)

I hate to say it, being a fan of NMB ... but I expected more. I downloaded this off emusic and spent more time checking how much time was left than anything else. Maybe it'll grow on me after a few more listens, but it's an uphill climb.

booker_pee (July 15, 2008)

It's a shame this review isn't more enthusiastic, because I get the sense that this reviewer listened once, maybe twice, and jotted down some notes.

This record has depth for miles and the lack of tempo is a completely unnecessary concern. These songs are extremely well-constructed and engaging and form a very cohesive whole

And yeah, if you're making up songs that aren't actually on the album, maybe your review doesn't deserve to get printed.

IanIsSuperRad (July 15, 2008)

I love this album. It's funny how Jason's voice masks just how poppy the music is. Not that it's a bad thing, but it's a very poppy album, save for the vocals.

This should easily make my top 10 of the year.

bryne (July 15, 2008)

Is the title wrong? I got this off eMusic and that's what it's listed as.

baseball (July 15, 2008)

Wow, I wouldn't call this boring in the least. His voice sounds great on this and I really like the influences you can hear in these songs.

This seems like a pretty logical step for him after NMB and I really dig it. Sucks I won't ever get to see these songs live.

toxic_toast (July 15, 2008)

Worst review.

I stopped reading when you said a song was called "Filler"

Check the tracklist again.

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