Reasons for Leaving - Wasaki, Verda (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Reasons for Leaving

Wasaki, Verda (2005)

Next in Line

If I hear one more friend of mine try to justify listening to a band by saying "yo, dude, they're catchy as hell," I'm going to have one less friend. I don't care. 'Catchy = good' is not an inequality that I ever learned in math, so I'm sure as hell not going to start applying it now. Lots of catchy bands are good, and lots more are catchy and absolutely terrible. SARS was catchy too, and I don't see anyone championing that.

In any event, Reasons for Leaving is a band that would fall directly into the realm of what so many people consider "catchy." They've got multi-part harmonies, great guitar melodies, and a sound that's just easy to sing along with, and luckily for all parties involved, in this instance, catchy does translate to good.

This four-piece has a real knack for writing infectious harmonies on Wasaki, Verda, and what's so obviously lacking in depth is to an extent made up for with their charm and overall songwriting craft.

'To an extent' being the key phrase, because by the end of the record the catchy sounds of the first four or five tracks grow rather stale. Lead singer and guitarist MJ Storey sounds equal parts Patrick Stump and Jason Gleason, the latter of which occurs when the band kicks things up a notch or two and Storey starts really singing...that's when the band is at their best. Sure, the more catchy moments are a blast of bright pop music, but the end of "Alison, No" shows a singer who's really letting the music take hold of him. There's a few other instances here where Storey takes command and steers the music into a bit more dangerous of a place, but it seems they band as a whole feels more comfortable on tracks like "Recreational Safety," where the chorus is the anchor and all everyone else has to do is hold on.

Both Storey and guitarist Chris Stowe work well with each other and the rest of the band, resulting in some great, albeit simplistic rhythms that rise and fall with the tide. They do break away from that mold on occasion however; "Bed of Roses on Repeat" shows a more versatile angle to their playing that's a welcome change from what can quickly grow into monotony.

At the end of the day, they really just are another band for people to parade as being catchy, but if their style continues to mature, they could have some true potential.