Fetterline - The Kings Invicta (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


The Kings Invicta (2005)

Roam the River

Few things in music annoy me more then when a band feigns a supreme level of intelligence. Case in point, Fetterline, who could probably be confused with Kevin Federline, because they both make terrible, terrible music. But I'm straying from the point. The title of the record is The Kings Invicta, meaning motto. This band writes pop screamo, and trust me, I hate using that classification. They throw a random fit of screamed vocals in behind some harmonies once in a while; they're essentially a pop-rock band.

If you are not Greg Gaffin, I don't want to be reading words like 'invicta' on your album cover or in your liner notes.

But because that wasn't offensive enough, the music has to be pretty lackluster as well. And that's just what it is. Singer John Rodriguez has no problems whatsoever carrying a tune; he's actually got quite a strong set of vocal chords, but the problems arise with song structure. It's mundane. This isn't the easiest genre to be original in, but some bands still manage to prosper and write some honestly catchy and engaging records. This is not one of those bands. Never straying far from the verse-chorus-verse formula, Fetterline plod through 10 tracks worth of nearly identical songs. The only real variant in that the pace does slow a good deal on tracks like "Discretions of Maine." The problem is that most of this genre's charm, when it has some, is in the way you tap your foot and sing along, because it's just a fun, bright pop-rock song, and when it's that slow, that same element just isn't there. Even the quicker songs, like the following track, "Running Man," feel like there's something just missing, that certain intangible to make it a fun record just isn't there. The guitar work really doesn't stand out in even a single instance on the album, and I'm not sure if the vocals are too strong, or the guitars too low, but they're so muddled that it's a strain to try and listen for them.

A pretty poor, and pretty incomplete record from this quintet. This genre can be a lot of fun when done correctly, and here, it's simply not.