Auburn - Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth (2009)

Blue Duck

Auburn are another unfortunate addition to the oversaturated crop of bands doing poor Every Time I Die impressions. Making matters worse is that Auburn sound most similar to ETID's worst album, Gutter Phenomenon. It's just prototypical nü-southern rock that I feel weird even calling metalcore despite super forced half-time mosh parts. He Is Legend was doing this so much better five years ago.

EP Opener "Waking Snakes" is a prime example of this, even throwing in a nasally, cleaner sung part from a backup vocalist. It's sort of like, oh, there it is. The slow-moving "Barn Burner" does an awful job of trying to incorporate a more serious and dramatic feel. And holy shit, a cowbell in "Like Trying to Kiss a Freight Train" before a weak howl, some watered-down Norma Jean riffs and then a complementary "OH!"

There's also a serious Christian slant here, which wouldn't normally bother me, but the lyrics are pretty poorly written. "So let's see how fast we can burn this thing to the ground / Burn it down / Trust in Him." Huh? And then a lyric in "Party Song" where they might be criticizing ditzy party girls and their cocaine use, but sort of just comes off misogynistic ("Baby / Are those your lips on my collar? / Or is it the blood from your nose?").

The one thing I most associated with Auburn, MA after my recent visit was the awful-smelling elevator at the La Quinta Inn. Nice place, but holy god, that elevator smelled like a piss-and-chemical cocktail. I guess it's appropriate I now have Auburn the band to add to that shortlist.

Waking Snakes
Like Trying to Kiss a Freight Train