The Reason - Ravenna (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The Reason

Ravenna (2004)


I really didn't want to like this album. I'm sick of a million emo bands that scream popping up from every corner of the suburbs. I'm sick of substance-free music full of breakup anthems and predictability. I'm sick of the major labels taking every band comprised of skinny guys with dyed black hair and handing them a record deal and a tour with Brand New.

I really wanted to hate this album, but I don't.

If you're a fan of bands like Boys Night Out or Taking Back Sunday, then you'll be down with Ravenna, the first full-length from this Toronto area five-piece composed of ex-members of Sewing with Nancy, who were a staple of the Toronto all-ages punk scene in the mid-nineties. Their previous effort, the Running with Scissors EP, sounds like it was made by a different band all together than this new venture. Ravenna sees that band evolving to a more aggressive state, while keeping their melodic base. That's why I didn't want to like the album; I was dreading having to describe another album with the "singing-screaming-singing" cliché. But again I regress, I like the Reason, and I've been enjoying their album. Ravenna is a well-crafted, well-written, and nicely produced effort.

Ravenna isn't anything new -- there are no surprises here. The lyrics have moments, but for the most part their self-described "vengecore" won't stick in your head any longer than the CD sticks around in your stereo, but even then, that's more than most bands earn.

I can't help it if I'm into bands like this, at least the Reason make it easier to sort out the good from the bad and the ugly. If you're into this whole emo meets hardcore thing, then this album is well worth your money.