Arden - The Big Picture (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


The Big Picture (2010)


Arden's tweemo may grate on you some. There's no doubting the five-piece have a sharp, glossy and bubbly sound brewing on this EP, The Big Picture. The co-ed vocals and the overall tone is clearly polished to a 'T.' But even immediately, with opener "A Slow Spiral Geoffrey," chirping brass and marching emo-pop fanfare, it's just all too much.

If there's such a thing as sounding too dainty, that's exactly The Big Picture's central issue. But it also grows stagnant quickly, with "Movin' On" failing to abide by its advisory title, plodding along the same foot-tapping tempo the band rely upon almost entirely, save slow-jam closer "Meet Me at Glen Rock."

The guitars are turned way down, deadening Arden's easier categorization as a "rock" band...even though that's kinda sorta how'd you describe this band to your grandmother. I mean, these guys make Sherwood sound like AC/DC. "Weather Patterns" tries a little more, but it–as well as "Crickets"–really just verges on the territory already captured by bands like the Morning Of.

Admittedly, it's hard to avoid the tactic of "reviewing the audience" here. This stuff really isn't for me, and while I don't know how it could be molded into something that is, the end-product here still feels a bit redundant, occasionally boring and often vapid.

The Big Picture EP