Torch Review 11.2.11

The Maine- “Black and White,”

(released July, 2010)

This album is choc-full of happy music covered with the lyrical abilities of a teenager in heat. The Maine has a very distinct pop-punk sound that most people find pleasing. Their creativity is lacking, and it’s a far reach to say that they bring anything new to the music genre. Catchy and upbeat songs about romance gone awry and problems of being a teenager make me think this band would be more suited to open for Justin Bieber or The Jonas Brothers.

Taking Back Sunday- Self titled
(album released June, 2011)

Taking Back Sunday says with this album that they’re beginning again, and after listening to the album I agree with that sentiment. The album sounds like it was made by people just beginning something they’re not familiar with. The vocals are screechy and cover up all the meaningful lyrics with inaudible attempts at sounding Kurt Cobain-esque. Compared to previous albums, however, the lyrics are far more advanced and poignant and reference societal inequities and religious ambivalence. They had all the right ingredients to make a good pie; however, this one came out a little burnt and you have to use a knife to scrape off the black char before you get to the gooey center. For a band of 30-somethings that can relate to present-day teenagers in melodramatic songs, they’ve done well. It’s somewhere between being truly punk and being cheesy punk-pop. I’d like to hear more of the truly punk side. n