Acceptance - Black Lines To Battlefields (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Black Lines To Battlefields (2003)

The Militia Group

The purchasing habits of the emo crowd simply amazes me. Acceptance, by all accounts, should do very well for themselves. They'll likely sell well, they'll draw decent crowds at shows and will doubtlessly pick up a plush record deal one day soon. I can't deny that they've even put together some decent compositions and harmonies. Their vocalists are (on record) quite powerful and able to carry a tune better than most other nu-emo acts. So what's my problem with this?

It all seems so calculated.

There are moments on this record that are virtually indistinguishable from Jimmy Eat World. Vocally, especially on the second track, vocalist Jason Vena has Jim Adkins pegged. The production here favors the big radio rock guitar sound and velvety smooth vocal harmonizing. It's "Bleed American"-ized to a T. For a band with so much obvious potential and solid skills, there is nothing about this EP that distinguishes it from what we've been bombarded with in the past few years. It's either a calculated bid for success or one of the greatest examples of "right place / right time" I've ever seen.

So taken completely out of context, Acceptance's "Black Lines To Battlefields" is a really strong EP. The band's tight and on songs like "Seeing Is Believing" very catchy and engaging. Even the two live tracks which round off this record ("This Is Only A Test" and "Rerun") manage to keep the momentum up. The album has some interesting drum fills but aside from that reflects a fairly standard alt-rock songwriting approach. These tracks would fit right in on your local modern rock station's playlist.

So in the goldfish-like attention span of the teen-punk record buying public, this is likely a really killer release. To anyone who can remember far off dates like 2001, you've heard this already.