The Prize Fight - The Process (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The Prize Fight

The Process (2006)


A long three years ago, the Prize Fight were an emo/pop-punk band with some horns backing their sound. They were certainly in a small minority of bands of this variety, the only currents coming to mind being Canadian ska-rockers Crowned King and currently horn-addled emo popsters the Killing Moon. With The Process EP, the Prize Fight's first release since said change, they've apparently decided to drop the horns in favor of fully embracing this style of emo/pop-punk, and thus find themselves gimmick-free but stuck in an even larger crowd of bands.

Throughout the band's young career they've been haunted by quickly mentioned comparisons to the Starting Line, and I'm afraid to say The Process won't shed that skin. In fact, it seems to embrace a relatively "matured" take on that sound, as TSL did with their own Based on a True Story. Similarly, there's a small gathering of pop-punk gang vocals dispersed on the record, and not even neccessarily the kind you'd hear from a Civ record; that is to say, definitely not of the hardcore-influenced variety or with any 'umph' behind them whatsoever, and thus weak and awkwardly integrated. Nothing here is obnoxiously poppy, but the vocals are very up front and center, definitively capturing the spirit of the current class of the genre: slightly whiny and nasal, singing very simply worded tales of romantic desperation as in "Lesson #6: Learning to Let Go," which in the least features a moderately catchy chorus; "if all else fails, at least I've learned that there is no use trying to work things out." Additionally, all but one track here hits the 4-minute mark, a marathon for anyone playing this music and not adding a variety of interesting moments.

The Process is mostly too bloated and safe to stand out in any nature. The hooks are rusty, the tempos are unchanging and disengaging, the guitars never quite hit home with the "complicated" riffs laid down, and the whole thing rests easy in a style that's too stagnant to allow a disregard for flourishes of creativity.

Now or Never