A Static Lullaby - A Static Lullaby (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

A Static Lullaby

A Static Lullaby (2006)


All A Static Lullaby really needed to do to make a drastic improvement over 2005's abysmal, confused Faso Latido was retool half their lineup: in other words, separate from the more progressive-minded members so those guys could form Casket Salesmen. This has allowed A Static Lullaby to get back to their roots, those being a half-intense, 21st century model of post-hardcore that I maintain was executed better than nearly all the band's peers on 2003's ...And Don't Forget to Breathe.

A Static Lullaby does sound like a logical progression from Breathe, featuring a couple more radio-friendly patterns and lots of well-counteracting and clean, melodic singing, like in opener "Hang ‘Em High." The song does open with some initially cringe-worthy lyrics, with frontman Joe Brown proclaiming in a scream "this is life in a car crash" and immediately bringing to mind the oft-compared Thursday. Ironically, Phil Perrone was the only member of the band really involved in any sort of car crash since the band's previous recording and he's one of the aforementioned departed members. In any event, guitarist Dan Arnold's singing in the chorus more than makes up for it; even in this moment alone the band has rarely sounded this urgent. He does a superb job in "The Art of Sharing Lovers" and "Life in a Museum," too; maybe it's because the band has been doing it nearly a half-decade (practically veteran status for this style), but the singing somehow avoids coming off cheesy and convoluted, instead energetic and welcomed.

New drummer Jarrod Alexander shows off his lineage (Death by Stereo, the Suicide File) well, providing the occasional double-bass fill, heavy backbone or even double-time speed, as in "Static Slumber Party," which makes me think producer Steve Evetts couldn't wait to record the new Lifetime record so he got in an early kick on here. That song in particular helps pick up a somewhat tired second half.

Unfortunately, nothing here really matches the creative potential hinted at in the past by the great "A Sip of Wine Chased with Cyanide," although the band does noticeably channel their influences of old like anyone would guess. Glassjaw similarities pop up occasionally, while Brown screaming over a quieter backdrop in the verses of "The Collision" sounds a lot like "We Go to Eleven." Some credit is deserved for not only shaking off a lot of the previously obvious Finch comparisons, but even outlasting that band (as far as it looks).

A Static Lullaby has never really been about reinventing the wheel, and in all likelihood they never will -- but at least they changed the fucking tire.

Hang ‘Em High
The Art of Sharing Lovers

Hang ‘Em High