The Hush Sound - Like Vines (Cover Artwork)

The Hush Sound

Like Vines (2006)

Decaydance / Fueled by Ramen

Being signed to Pete Wentz's record label isn't an easy detail to shake (unless of course you are Lifetime); in fact that information alone will write the Hush Sound off for many people. Unfortunately, for those that are willing to look past label affiliation there still isn't much to see. The Hush Sound are essentially a piano driven pop-rock act with very, and I mean very, loose indie ties. What is even more disappointing is the fact that much of the band's kitschy piano bounce could be completely interchangeable with labelmates Panic! at the Disco if it weren't for the fact that the Hush Sound have both male and female vocals. Songs like "Lions Roar" and "Wine Red" settle into the same cabaret aesthetic as the boys from Vegas and singer Bob Morris's voice even seems to come from the same over-the-top pop-punk vocal school as Fall Out Boy's Patrick Stump who, incidentally, co-produced Like Vines and appears on the song "Don't Wake Me Up."

Like the bands I've already mentioned, the Hush Sound are slick and catchy. The production is pristine and the melodies are predictable. There is nothing abrasive or outright offensive about the band's sound, and even with the added presence of piano the final product is generic and easily swallowed. "Out Through the Curtain" stands out thanks to its Pale Pacific-like songwriting and more mature tone, while the rest of the album is content to sway back and forth between mindless pop and overly sentimental balladry.

Like Vines is the type of album that merely drifts by with no moments too striking, and no temptation to press play again once it has stopped. After one spin, you realize the Hush Sound are like the beauty pageant contestant that is dressed just right, but has nothing to say.