Janez Detd. - Like Cold Rain Kills a Summer Day... (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Janez Detd.

Like Cold Rain Kills a Summer Day... (2006)

I Scream

It wasn't bad enough that the United States has a Fall Out Boy. And a Panic! at the Disco. And a Cute Is What We Aim For. No, no it was not enough. Trying to remedy this problem, I Scream (a generally dependable label) decided to take it upon themselves to bring in Belgium's version of those crappy bands and everyone like them. This is the medical equivalent of smashing your broken finger with a ball peen hammer to try and make it feel better.

Like Cold Rain Kills a Summer Day... suffers from a few root problems that ruin the entire listening experience right off the bat. Much worse than having a broken finger is being completely and utterly tone-deaf, and that seems to be the biggest problem plaguing this European quartet. The cornerstone of any pop-rock/pop-punk band is the uncanny ability to cultivate great melodies. That's what garners so much interest in a genre that's essentially devoid of originality or true creative spirit. You cannot understate the importance of melody.

From the finely tuned vocal harmonies to the bouncy rhythms, it's all the gene really has to offer.

So why, I ask, is this album lacking so badly in such areas? The vocalist, unfortunately, is one that does not carry the kind of spunk or the kind of sound in general needed to sing for a band of this style. The enthusiasm isn't there, the inflection isn't there, and most of all, the voice sounds far too vocoded and computerized. Think the singer of No Motiv without the ability to carry a tune after the songs have taken on a heavily computerized feel. Yeah, not so pleasant. "In These Days" shows vocalist Nikolas Van Der Veken as one less than excited to be delivering his lines, and that lethargic sentiment is one that carries over to his bandmates as well. There's some quick fills here and there coupled with some buzzing riffs, but the inconsistency is just one more nail in the coffin for a band who started with one foot in the ground.

I love pop-punk as much as the next guy, probably more, but the sad fact of it is that listening to this was on par with receiving a frontal lobotomy. There's just no grooves, no excitement, and no reason to sing along. And with their genre, those are all you can hope for.