Just Surrender - If These Streets Could Talk (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Just Surrender

If These Streets Could Talk (2005)

EastWest / Broken English

The copy I received of Just Surrender's If These Streets Could Talk didn't come with any liner notes, but if it did, there had better be a whole page devoted to thanking Taking Back Sunday, because without them, this album wouldn't exist. I'm not saying they copied the Long Island stronghold, but they were sure as hell influenced by them, and take that as you will.

They waste no time, making the first track on this album a high-energy one that's able to utilize both vocalists and their harmonies fairly well. They even utilize a lot of the same techniques that TBS does, such as letting one vocalist become very quiet in the middle of a line, then having the other vocalist repeat it. Parts of "I Can Barely Breath" mimic "The Union," but not so much so that they can be considered con artists. To their credit, it's a pretty damn catchy song, with some real tight melodic rhythms.

No matter how cliché this album is, and trust me, it's cliché, I'm really not finding a whole lot to hate about it.

The songs don't vary much as the album progresses, but it's obvious not a lot of emphasis was put on diversity. It's the two-part vocal harmonies that sing the sweetest song for the band, as they're able to turn what could really be a bland tune into something actually worthwhile. And more and more, they sound akin to Armor for Sleep as far as the main vocalist is concerned. The actual dynamics of the music stay in Taking Back Sunday territory, and to their credit, they stay away from adding any sort of screaming to their music, none whatsoever. So often, solid pop-rock bands destroy any sort of credit they could have had by pulling a Hawthorne Heights, but there's none of that here.

Despite all the praise I've given the band, their vocal stylings can't save the fact that this is essentially a boring release. It wouldn't make bad background music, but nobody's going to go out of their way for a band who sounds like Taking Back Sunday, when they can just listen to Taking Back Sunday.