Courtesy Blush - Sweet Modern Fairy Tales (Cover Artwork)

Courtesy Blush

Sweet Modern Fairy Tales (2005)

Bad Samaritan

Courtesy Blush could be lumped in with other technical genre-mashing groups like the Number 12 Looks Like You or Between the Buried and Me, but they put a bit more emphasis on the poppy emo/"screamo" of bands like the Used than their peers.

Opener "La Ber Sae" carries a Glassjaw-like tone with its shifts from hard rock to lighter, more moody passages, while singer Stan Simon Kolodziejski chases the same vocal acrobatics that Daryl Palumbo has made his trademark. Kolodziejski's voice may not be as strong as Palumbo's, but the results are interesting.

From there, the band covers everything from speed metal riffing ("Tonight Is to Die" and "Love, Love") to mosh parts ("The Video Is a Tightly Kept Secret") and the aforementioned affinity for poppy screamo ("You Are in Control Annie" and "Starlight of Empty Nights"), with most songs intermingling numerous styles. The vocals also take a wide array of approaches, covering everything from soft crooning, to schizophrenic blurts and intense screaming.

After a few listens, the same question that is usually raised when listening to a band like this comes to the foreground; is this songwriting or just random masturbatory pieces of music patched together? With Courtesy Blush, the results hint at both. Sometimes they merely come off like they are out to prove they've got the best chops on the block with no regard for structure, while at other times the lighter, radio-friendly screamo sections help to make a song a cohesive whole.