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Whippersnapper - Appearances Wear Thin (Cover Artwork)

Whippersnapper

Whippersnapper: Appearances Wear ThinAppearances Wear Thin (2002)
Fueled By Ramen Records

Reviewer Rating: 5
User Rating:


Contributed by: cardhorecardhore
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I have been anticipating this release even since I saw Whippersnapper play the Foxfire with Strung Out, Straight Faced and Dynamite Boy. At the time of the show, Whippersnapper's most recent album was "The Long Walk." The band opened and was probably the only band that I can honestly say sounded b.
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I have been anticipating this release even since I saw Whippersnapper play the Foxfire with Strung Out, Straight Faced and Dynamite Boy. At the time of the show, Whippersnapper's most recent album was "The Long Walk." The band opened and was probably the only band that I can honestly say sounded better live than on CD. My jaw was figuratively hitting the floor.

The band played furiously, with four-part harmonies sung by all members (except the drummer), fast tempos, dual melodies on guitars, full bass tone, complex rhythms. Whippersnapper's vocals I would describe as very good singing without an accent, not snotty like Nofx, not annoying like Creed (or any Creed cover bands). The closest comparison I could think of is Saves The Day's singer, but thicker and not as high pitched. Live, the singing sounded like a perfect fusion of hardcore singing and normal good singing. They did all their harmonies and everything flawlessly. From that moment I hoped they would try and get that vocal sound on their next record.

Two years later, Appearances wear thin comes out on Fueled By Ramen records. I don't know why they left Lobster Records (Yellowcard also left them) for Fueled by Ramen. They got a new producer/engineer for this record, and it certainly shows. Upon playing this disc for the first time, I had to stop after the first three tracks and ask myself, "Is this even the same band?" I was so suprised.

After listening to the CD a few times in full, my hopes had been satisfied. They must have used some better mics or something because the vocals sounded twice as good, just like I remember them live. This record is a huge change from the previous: there are barely any vocal harmonies on this record, the dual guitar parts are still there but not emphasized as much ("The Long Walk" sounds like one long guitar solo). All the songs are bit more laid back and bit slower, and the bass doesn't have as much distinctness. (The previous CD's bass sounded like a bass with its "tone" knob up all the way, which was very cool.) The drums are more spacious sounding as well.

Nevertheless, ever song on here rocks and is powerful lyrically. There are songs about improving yourself ("I can't believe all the tightropes that you walk / You make believe that your angle's all you've got"), relationships ("we never say forever to each other anymore / and I wonder if there's nothing left to say"), standing up for yourself ("don't be defined by a faceless mass of charlatans / enticing you to buy their wretched line / keep moving"), etc. Nothing sounds cheesy or like it was engineered to get them on TRL. At the same time the songs manage to be catchy yet serious.

This is an incredible CD, and Whippersnapper managed to top "The Long Walk," an amazing feat. In fact, "Appearances Wear Thin" is probably going to be my #1 record of the year. I would strongly recommend getting both "Appearances Wear Thin" and "The Long Walk" if you're looking for some new music or already are a Whippersnapper fan. Both feature amazing songs, and they complement each other very well.

 

 
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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 (April 16, 2004)

wow. this a late comment but whatever. this is an excellent album. for anyone who didn't get that from all the otehr reviews. go buy it.

Anonymous (April 30, 2003)

This CD is great. It took me some time to get used to it. I saw them around the time this was released (FBR did such a shitty job promoting this) They're all very nice, put on a great live show, and play incredible music. Sadly, they are no longer as of 4/14/03. R.I.P. to a truly great, unique, band.

Anonymous (February 3, 2003)

Long Walk = AMAZING!

Anonymous (October 25, 2002)

why doesn't someone review The Long Walk. that's their best album anyway.

bemused (October 18, 2002)

I think the vox aren't quite as good on this album. The comparison to Saves the Day's Chris is a pretty bad one, but it is difficult to draw any comparisons with their singer

Anonymous (June 3, 2002)

In my opinion, Whippersnapper are the absolute best band around nowdays. America's Favorite Passtime was not incredibly original, but it had tons of energy and it totally rocked. Definately in the top 5 mid 90's Fat-style albums. The Long Walk absolutely blew me away. Probably the best cd I've ever heard. Incredibly innovative, catchy, and intricate enough to keep you coming back to it (I still listen to it a few times each week after owning it for two years), and this new album, Appearances Wear Thin is every bit as good as the other two. They show a wider variety of influence some amazing instrumentation (whoever said there weren't as many guitar harmonies either a-hasn't paid attention, or b-doesn't play the guitar. I do, and let me tell you, when it comes to dual-guitaring, these guys are king. There aren't as many of the off-time group vocals that were so brilliant on The Long Walk, but there are still tons of harmonies. Unfortunately, the bass can be comparitively difficult to hear at times (It's at the forefront in their last album, with good reason. Andy goes off!), but those are really the only drawbacks. They like to rock out, and it shows more on this album than ever before. Andy's lyrics are still fantrastic. Despite some other huge releases this year (Strung out, Thrice, Millencolin, NUFAN, etc), this album is going to be pretty much impossible to beat for the #1 spot for album of the year.

Anonymous (May 28, 2002)

ok...the long walk sounds to me like every song has about 3 or 4 lines and he repeats them again and again and again...it's boring and I can't listen to it. However, you didn't say a word about their first cd, america's pastime...which is easily one of the 10 best cds I've ever heard...everything about it is amazing, except for the lame cover song...the new cd was a huge surprise...almost like he was trying to sound completely different. I don't like it too much, I've tried to let it grow on me, and it has a little bit, but overall, america's pastime is definatly their best

Anonymous (May 27, 2002)

yeah definitely a departure, its just not my style record. i loved long walk, i thought it was so brilliant and unique, but this cd just doesnt do it for me.... i cant get into his voice and the music just isnt as cool.

wyzo (May 24, 2002)

I meant to review this but what can i say i got busy.

Its a good record, most people who dont like Ive found just expect the same sound as the long walk. This records closer to their live sound. And if you listen to a song like "feeling fine" the good ole whippernsnapper harmonies are their their just not as exaggerated.

The piano bass tone is still there but lowered in the overall mix. The vocals are a bit rougher (closer to his actual voice) but like I said once he harmonizes it reminds you they havent changed, its just a different record, different producer, its going to sound different.

Great record.

Anonymous (May 24, 2002)

Yeah they kick ass! their coming to ottawa and my band is opening! cant wait to meet them...

-ejaculine

Anonymous (May 24, 2002)

Yeah, this album is soooooo good. At first I was kinda disappointed, but with time it grew on me. Now I love it.

And don't forgot "America's Favorite Passtime"!! That's one hell of an album too. It's more poppy, but it's got awesome songwritinh nonetheless.

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