Just Surrender - We're in Like Sin (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Just Surrender

We're in Like Sin (2007)

EastWest / Broken English

Who likes soup? I happen to enjoy a bowl or two myself. When I need something quick that will go down easy I reach for the canned stuff. Sure, it might not have the rich and varied textures like the kind Gammy used to make, but at the very least it has its own flavour. Occasionally when there is nothing else around I'll admit I eat the bland add-water kind. This is where Just Surrender and their latest full-length come in to play. They are to Taking Back Sunday what the add-water variety is to the oeuvre of soup.

We're in Like Sin admittedly shows a certain amount of tongue-in-cheek cleverness. It will surely make you feel like a complete jackass as you listen to it, but much like sin, even though it is still wrong you may find yourself disgustingly drawn to it regardless. Songs like "Body Language and Bad Habits" and "Your Life and Mine" may be completely superficial and ridiculously dripping with angst, but they have some nice melodies and are catchy. It is a real shame they throw in a laughably bad scream at the end of the former to squander any fuzzy feelings that may have developed. When the band tries for a slightly harder approach in "New Direction," more shoddy screaming and the repeated "hey! hey! hey!" fail to make it convincing against all the other pussyfooting around life going on within the rest of the album. I did have high-ish hopes for the duet with the female vocalist in "So Close / So Alive" because that sort of thing seems right up these guys' alley, but ultimately it goes nowhere and somehow manages to disappoint.

One token of praise I feel I can give the band is that while their lyrics aren't particularly insightful, there is nothing laughably bad either. That is, until the title song and this little gem: "…and well we're in like sin your body's calling me again / I can't keep up when you have started to / take control / and heaven and hell don't mean a thing when you're lying in bed with me / the more I kiss you / the more I touch you / you make me want to scream." I don't know about you, but my nipples are certainly hard after that little wet dream.

For making relatively harmless pop-punk with only a slightly troubling view of women, Just Surrender do know how to write occasionally catchy songs. I really do think their worldview would have great appeal to 14-year-old boys and girls and there is something to be said for that. I needed Snoop Doggy Dogg when I was 14 just as much as the kids today need to learn from their past mistakes. In the future, though, if you are going to try and make soup , I suggest you maybe take a few tips from Gammy rather than looking to the can for ultimate inspiration.