Terminal - How The Lonely Keep (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


How The Lonely Keep (2005)

Tooth & Nail

Terminal sounds a lot like Recover. More specifically, they sound like Ceci N'est Pas-era Recover. This will cause potential listeners to tell themselves one of two things: "Hey, I might like this, it sounds like Recover before they deteriorated into watered-down 'emo' pop-rock and put out that apathetic piece of crap about disappearing," or "Oh man, this sounds like when Recover failed miserably at doing that ‘rock' CD instead of the screaming post-hardcore thing they were fairly good at" (or even "omGz fREe pr0n?!?!"). For me, it's the former, and while it doesn't have any sickly-looking topless girls in its liner notes, How The Lonely Keep is the proper continuation upon Ceci that fans of the EP, like myself, never received.

Terminal don't quite carry the same soft/loud dynamics as often as their fellow Texans in question, but they certainly seem to be an evolved version of Recover, throwing in the occasional soft fill of wall-of-sound guitars -- octaves, feathery plucking, distorted fret board dragging or otherwise --- and constructing their songs well, making sure each flows consistently, which all 12 do. "Sunday Parking Lot" even involves a few backup gang vocal chants, and for some reason, it isn't nearly out of place.

Vocally, the band seems to rely solely around Travis Bryant's voice, with nary a backup harmony -- save for the intermittent overlay -- and, since Bryant indeed sounds like Recover's Dan Keyes, it keeps the similarity afloat for the majority of the disc.

Lyrically, any foreshadowing the title may provide is accurate, as Lonely is chock full of some fairly self-loathing themes; lines like "We just wish ourselves away," "But I'm lonely losing sleep," and "If only I could feel less indifferent" plague Lonely rather shamelessly. The overwhelming whine factor of the words luckily never come across in the vocals or music since the balls of which are a bit brassier, and thus the band is musically apt enough to the point where the listener may never have to cringe at the songwriting.

While How The Lonely Keeps is held back by a severe lack of originailty, its somewhat dragging length, a handful of bland moments and a pretty consistently self-pessimistic lyrical base, Terminal seems to work through it to write the full-length collection of enjoyable, fairly upbeat emotional rock songs Recover hasn't yet delivered.

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