The Braces - I'm Telling Everyone (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The Braces

I'm Telling Everyone (2009)


The Braces have changed it up significantly since their 2007 self-released LP Yeah Right!. Nearly gone are the angsty vocals, the sloppy poppiness and the amateur lyrics of the past, replaced with a cleaner, more accessible sound.

There are benefits and disadvantages of the changes, which don't appear to affect the net enjoyment one way or another. Though the welcome absence of goofy, immature cuts like "Dr. Phil" is appreciated, the band's more serious and emotionally-laden numbers like "Confidence," "Flood" and "I Love You, But" are inversely out of place, even while occasionally packing some hooks.

The best tracks on I'm Telling Everyone are those that balance the playful with the sincere, like the two-minute "Jumping" and album opener "I'd Rather Be Hot," a declaration of why California's so great despite its myriad flaws if only for the climate. I probably would have made the same argument some time ago, but two winters in Minnesota have proven that four seasons are better than one, even if it means not being a baby about the cold. "Missionary Position" is the same predictably closed-minded rant against religion that 10,000 punk bands before have professed: "I took the Lord's name in vain / And you can't convince me to pray / So take your beliefs / And preach them somewhere else." This is too bad, since the choral melody that follows is one of the best on the album, with a bit of an Inspection 12 flavor. "Living Is Dying" offers a nice change-up with its brief segments of upstrokes and a strong chorus that turns into a gang effort.

Despite the changes, the Braces have another fairly solid collection of songs in I'm Telling Everyone. With the improved production, though, the band has to be careful of not getting too polished, and especially keeping the vocals more in line with Chris Fogal than Ryan Key.