A Thorn For Every Heart - Things Aren't So Beautiful Now (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

A Thorn For Every Heart

Things Aren't So Beautiful Now (2004)


I could probably piss off a whole lot of you right now by not neccessarily lumping this band in with the "new" breed of this type of "music," but rather labeling it with a certain, not-so-necessarily vague title. And while I'd love to use it and thus clear a whole lot of text in this review, saving the both of us precious time, I really can't, as I admittedly enjoy a fair slew of bands playing whatever you'd like to call what A Thorn For Every Heart calls home to. But even Things Aren't So Beautiful Now is so badly clichéd and near-parodical, it's sort of pathetic and almost brings me to the point of slapping it with the somewhat unfair tag.

Take a less melodic Yellowcard, drag the tempo, thrown in unnecessary screaming, and voila - crap!

I expect a certain level of competency and efficiency when it comes to major label-issued full-lengths regardless of the band. Although ATFEH certainly meet these expectations, their proper debut is so laughable and predictable that it throws any redeeming qualities the band still possesses right out the proverbial window. Ironically, upon listening, i contemplated throwing myself out of an actual window.

While there's concrete evidence on this medium called the Internet that I guiltily enjoy(ed) some aspects of the band's previously released, now out-of-print Silence Is Golden EP, from the oddly-fit use of the violin to the horrendously infectious nature of one or two song choruses, none of it has carried over. It isn't necessarily a good or bad thing the band removed their violinist, as there's a couple tracks that do still use the strings, but its horrifically melodramatic nature makes no sense whatsoever. The band couldn't even capture any of the "magic" the EP carried, rerecording five songs that make up half the full-length itself. Especially slaughtered is "Next Of Kin," drained of all the energy and passion (seriously) the original version had. Seeing as how the EP was an official release and not a demo, it's safe to say that the bullshit antics the band pull here should disappoint even their own fans with the lack of new material on Beautiful....

The effects the vocals have on them are ridiculous, too. The album's title track, part 2, ahem, takes some sort of keyboard fade, shadowing the vocals for almost the entire last minute. To further describe how terrible it sounds is to propel an exercise in futility.

Blandness, overproduction, whiny/laughably screamed vocal stylings, and sophomoric songwriting capabilites are all qualities easily found on Things Aren't So Beautiful Now, an album that gets progressively worse as it goes along. Kudos to the band, however, for giving sufficient warning with such a name.

99 With An Anchor
Things Aren't So Beautiful Now (Part 2)