Small Brown Bike - Dead Reckoning (Cover Artwork)

Small Brown Bike

Dead Reckoning (2001)

No Idea

I still remember the hot August night that I bought Small Brown Bike's "Collection." I bought it and went to a party afterward, so it was far past 12 when I finally put it on.

As the first song finished up ("Mouth of Madness"), I was completely hooked. I quickly followed up my purchase with "Our Own Wars" and made Small Brown Bike tapes for all my friends. The response was unanimous. Small Brown Bike was the new face in Rock 'n' Roll. Not as post-hardcore-y as Hot Water Music and not as wimpy-indie sounding as Cursive, Small Brown Bike seemed to capture that 17 year old awkwardness and intesity that I feel.

Out of nowhere, our heroes began to fall. At The Drive-In went on indefinite hiatus... The new Alk3 sucked far worse than anything could ever... Hot Water Music released old releases (BORING!!!)... and above all, New Found Glory was signed to a major label (Sigh). While all my friends were mourning, I was anticipating the revival. Have you forgotten? The new Small Brown Bike hits stores soon! Can't you imagine all the wonderful rage and beauty and power and intensity it will bring and replace all the hardships indie music has endured this year?

Suprise, suprise.

The album's packaging is at top rate. For that we can thank No Idea, they're masters at stuff like that. From there, it's all mediocre.

For starters, Mike Janquint's voice has lost that fiery youthfulness that the last two albums exeplified. The high quality studio sound this album has steals away the rawness and sludgy power. The lead guitar is bland and just when he does something cool, the song ends. The music is somewhere between mid-paced hardcore and emo pop. The result, however, is nothing special. In fact, the lack of melody found on this album is apalling. Dan Janquint backing his brother's vocals is superb and is a skill he has mastered. As for Mike's, he can't decide whether he is gruff or whiny and it comes off as annoying. With 11 tracks and 1 solid track (the first one "Future With No Friend") you can easily pass this up.

This could've stolen the spotlight this year in emo. It could've come out of nowhere and beat The Get Up Kids, The Promise Ring, Saves The Day, and A New Found Glory black and blue. It's not bad, it just dissappoints me.