Look Mexico - To Bed to Battle (Cover Artwork)

Look Mexico

Look Mexico: To Bed to BattleTo Bed to Battle (2010)
Suburban Home Records

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:

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

Coming off their best material of their brief career in Gasp Asp and with a new drummer and label, it's reasonable to assume that Look Mexico had some lofty expectations surrounding their sophomore full-length, To Bed to Battle. But instead of dropping some more mathy emo, the band elected to dabble.
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Coming off their best material of their brief career in Gasp Asp and with a new drummer and label, it's reasonable to assume that Look Mexico had some lofty expectations surrounding their sophomore full-length, To Bed to Battle. But instead of dropping some more mathy emo, the band elected to dabble in more traditional song structures that have turned off some fans in the few months since its release. Regardless, To Bed to Battle is a mostly successful release on its own merits, even if it hasn't ended up being what mostly everybody wanted from the band.

And it's hard to dispute what an immense opening track "You Stay. I Go. No Following." is. Frontman Matt Agrella has evolved into one of the best, most dynamic vocalists in the scene, and his leaps and bounds of improvement are on full display here as he wails over dramatic instrumentation that calls to mind a more subdued Moneen. Frank Turner steps in on the refrain for a choice guest spot, and he and Agrella harmonize quite well toward the song's end.

The catchiness of the vocal pattern along with some impressive drum fills anchor "No Wonder I'm Still Awake" and "I Live My Life a Quarter Mile at a Time," the latter using some muffled, dissonant guitar sounds to enhance its more atmospheric moments. Another highlight comes in the form of the sunny, brief and infectious "They Offered Me a Deal (I Said No, Naturally)," a track augmented by somber horn parts that were so important and prevalent on Gasp Asp.

Look Mexico slows things down on "They Only Take the Backroads" with success, mostly due to Agrella's pipes and his backing band's ability to subtly up the tension with every guitar strum and drum pound. The keyboards help meld the atmosphere here as well. The band employs acoustics and twang for "Take It Upstairs, Einstein" and in lieu of making some joke like "They ARE a Suburban Home band now, after all!", we'll just call this what it is: a solid departure and an excellent "third track," if that makes any sense.

The band enters quite a bit of uncharted territory here (for them, anyway) and despite it being perceived as a regression by many, there's more than enough quality material here to engage the listener.


People who liked this also liked:
The Gaslight Anthem - American SlangAlkaline Trio - GoddamnitCrime in Stereo - I Was Trying to Describe You to SomeoneIron Chic - Not Like ThisThe Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!The Gaslight Anthem - The '59 SoundTeenage Bottlerocket - They Came from the ShadowsThe Flatliners - CavalcadeThe Menzingers - Chamberlain WaitsMixtapes - Thought About Growing Up

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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.
ak3punk (December 30, 2010)

In a perfect world this would be one of the top 3 albums of the year...

RedElephant (June 17, 2010)

good album. not exactly the direction i wanted to see them go in, but still good.

onegirlarmy (June 17, 2010)

Bummed Josh isn't with them anymore as everyone is, but this record still is great.

mathclub (June 17, 2010)

For anyone displeased with the music or art under a "I'm with the old drummer" umbrella - Keep in mind Josh played on this record and did the artwork.

icapped2pac (June 17, 2010)

"You guys know Josh played drums on this record right?"

Shit. I forgot that. Still, let's remember that one of the reasons he moved on was because he wasn't into the new direction so much (this is from my own recollection of the news story, I apologize if I'm wrong), so when I said I was with him I wasn't wrong.

TSOL (June 16, 2010)

I never 'got' this band. Boring as fuck, there is tons better 'indie' out there than this shit.

frank460 (June 16, 2010)

it's good, just feels like a stepdown from gasp asp.

MN_DrNick (June 16, 2010)

Love the hell out of this album. "They Only Take the Backroads" is my favorite off this.

Blackjaw_ (June 15, 2010)

I loved this for the first half a dozen listens. Now I can't even make it through the first half of it. A few of the songs are undeniably great still, but I don't know, there's just something about it I simply don't like. One of the songs has these very R n' B-esque backing vocals, which just irks the shit out of me. I'd go and find exactly what point/song I'm talking about so you can see what I mean, but I don't even want to hear it again.

advil (June 15, 2010)

You guys know Josh played drums on this record right?

FaithIsForFools (June 15, 2010)

Awesome-as-all-fucking-hell cover!
Boring-as-shit music.

regreteverything (June 15, 2010)

You know, I've tried to get into this album, and I recognize that it's pretty good for what it is but it's just not what I was hoping for. I really wanted them to continue in the direction they were headed with the old drummer.

damnitsderek (June 15, 2010)

Love this record.

icapped2pac (June 15, 2010)

Loved this band, but I'm with the old drummer when I say this shit is lost on me. "This Is Animal Music" is still a classic though.

ColdwarAaron (June 15, 2010)

Score is for the reviewer and for the watermelon and BBQ ribs I just ate. (BUY THIS RECORD MOTHERFUCKERS)

brangelina (June 15, 2010)

I love this band and this record.

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