Adaline - Adaline (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Adaline (2004)

Sorrow Of Stars

I hate you, Geoff Rickley. You bastard. No, no, I do not hate Thursday, actually the contrary: I do enjoy the good majority of their work. It is with Thursday's singer, Mr. Geoff Rickley, where my problem lies. The problem does not even lie with Rickley, really, but instead the influx of twenty-something singers who aspire to hit notes just like Rickley, off key, and can't even pull that off. The difference is that while Rickley's voice isn't the most perfect representation of how to hit a note, he's an engaging front man, and he makes the songs what they are. He's a frontman, and a good one. These imitations sound lackluster at best, and if one more Senses Fail ripoff comes along, I'm going to start stabbing people. I'll start with Senses Fail themselves, because I've never liked them anyway. As for this record, Adaline does, and doesn't follow in those unfortunate footsteps on their self-titled debut.

It's not that I'm opposed to the sing/scream dynamic, as a lot of bands can pull it off well, but for every On The Might Of Princes there's a Senses Fail. From the outset of the first track, "Ms. Scarlet In The Conservatory With The Candlestick," it seems that Adaline falls into that very same rut. While on a song title tangent, stop with the exorbitantly long ones. I know screamo bands are notorious for this, and I don't even think it's clever when they do it. The vocalist here is off key throughout the song's entire duration, and there's some random screams thrown in for the hell of it, because that hasn't been done to death. So after that song finally passes, I expect more with the second song, but instead it starts off with some really strong screaming, and solid guitar riffs. If only it would, back to the off key singing.

That's whats really so frustrating about this album. There's a layer of good music underneath the cookie-cutter bullshit, but there's just no reason to look for it. There are some definitely creative riffs, some solid drumming, and the underlying structure in these songs shows the maturity of a band who's been around longer than two years, but the potential shown is just not realized. If either the vocalist was replaced, or the format was changed into just doing the hardcore thing full time, I could definitely see a future for this band. The screaming is strong enough to stand on its own, it just needs the opportunity to do so. Also, in the EP's last track, "Song Too Long To Type," the last two minutes are some very uncharacteristic, Cave In-like spacey atmospherics. Again, it doesn't fit with the overall mood of the album, but it sounds solid, and if that could be incorporated with more of a hardcore sound, they could have a decent album on their hands.

Adaline's debut EP isn't horrible in a musical sense, but what's horrible is the lack of potential realized. A change in style and a few more years to grow as musicians would do more justice for this band than my words can. If they're smart, they'll realize the type of music they've put on this EP is quickly fading to the wayside, and a jump of ship could really spell good things for these guys.