Stairwell - The Sounds Of Change (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


The Sounds Of Change (2003)


Jimmy Eat World, Jimmy Eat World, Jimmy Eat World.

There you go, there's your stinkin' review. This band mimics, virtually note for note, Jimmy Eat World's breakthrough 2001 album "Bleed American," as well as any other emo-turned-pop band of the same ilk. Singers Jonathan Caro and Zak Shultz imitate JEW's Jim Adkins in virtually every track on this CD. The guitars are palm muted in every spot you'd think for them to be, the bass drops to that low D exactly when you'd want it to, and the drums are painfully rudimentary, just like you'd figure for a band of this caliber.

The album does start off promisingly [minus the ridiculously pointless 10 second intro track] with "Disaster," a slow, hook-laden jam that just slightly extends it's welcome with one too many repeats of it's chorus. At first listen, you're liable to say something like "man, this song is good! It's like Jimmy Eat World meets even poppier stuff like the All-American Rejects or something! I hope the rest of the album is as good as this song!" Unfortunately, with each subsequent listen, you know that nothing gets any better after that track.

"All These Years" starts off with just quiet bass and vocals, and conjurs up images of Brad Nowell of Sublime, if only for a few seconds [until the rest of the band ruins it by trying to rip off Weezer for the umpteenth time this album]. Track 9, "Familiar Streets," starts off sounding like JEW's "Bleed American" with vocals that try too hard to sound angst-ridden [hence falling flat on their face] until an out of place guitar solo makes the song sound like something of Fuel's latest album. Weird, I know.

But what's even *weirder* is that this album came out almost two years ago on Takehold Records. Why on earth would Hopeless sign this band and then simply re-release a year-and-a-half old record? Why would the band even let them? It makes absolutely no sense to me, and further reduces this album to being worth little more than the cardboard and plastic that it's constructed out of.


Breathless Hi Med Low

Stream the album here