Sequoia - Time to Change (Cover Artwork)


Time to Change (2007)


I didn't want to go with the obvious first critical blow here, but the more I stare at Sequoia's CD, it's looking right at me. Literally. See this grab-bag-rock trio named their album Time to Change, and well, it just might be, fellas. Despite competent musicianship and songwriting skills, Sequoia's hodgepodge of genre trips is lackluster and tiresome.

Strange recording/mixing choices - like a vocal-layering that recalls Ozzy Osbourne in a completely non-ironic way, or a lead guitar line that is so separate in the mix it makes mash-up artists sound more "tight" than this band – could be ignored if opener "Time to Change" followed through on its promise of a shiny and bouncing power pop jam, but it doesn't. Yeah, the hand-claps, guitar jangle, and bass-line-walk are cute and familiar tools, but the melody never hits quite right, while what was obviously a shot at charming simplicity merely comes off redundant.

Things get even worse later when the band – after three sorta, kinda alt-rock songs – dish out a completely unnecessary foot-stomping, hand clapping, acoustic guitar strumming instrumental ("Waverly, Tennessee") and what sounds like a teenage band's attempt at penning a Sunny Day Real Estate tune that incorporates elements of nu-metal ("Still Wasted"). Maybe neither of those descriptions are what the band intended, but that's all these ears are hearing.

Before the album ends Sequoia also try their hand at some echoing American Football styled fare ("Across the Pond") and balls-to-the-wall riff-rock ("Doormat") among other disappointing choices.

I'm sure it could be debated that Sequoia were attempting to show their diverse range with this album, but the result is a disconnected mess. It's not only time for this band to change, but time for them to focus.