Rating: .45 out of 5
To be honest, I was quite perplexed as to what to review this week. Not much has come out; or rather not much has come to our office. While looking at the mess we here at Pulse call our desk (must remember to clean that next week) I noticed this CD and remembered they are coming to UB soon. Apparently they are an up and coming alternative/punk/emo rock band (yea fuck the mainstream man, I am so above pop radio, fuck man I love Nirvana) and thus earned themselves a spot on the “Advance Warning Tour”. Now this MTV sponsored bastion of all that up and coming in the world of music features this band, a band that well, and I know this isn’t the most eloquent way of putting it…just plain sucks. Now I know I am a pretentious asshole of a music critic and you might think my opinions are slightly invalidated by that. However, I played this for my fourteen year old brother, who is not pretentious or a music writer for a college magazine and he hated it more than I did.
You are probably asking what is so bad about this album. “Last Train Home”, the current single getting airtime is by no means an awful song. Well, I cannot say it is a particularly great song, but it really isn’t atrocious, either, and the sole reason Start Something didn’t get a zero. However, it is the rest of the album by a group of people who may or may not be able to see the future and cannot seem to find their way that is horrible. A few years ago, a crack team of scientists figured out a way to market music to overly angsty teens who don’t quite like straight hardcore and certainly think they are above poppy punk, hence emo/scream/skemo (actually I hope they have not meshed ska and emo yet) was born. The recipe is simple and followed quite well on pretty much every track of Start Something.
12 parts scream some sort of rally cry like go or count off at the beginning of every song
6 cups of chugging guitars to create a sense of a powerful buildup
7 teaspoons of semi-whiny singing during verses
5 tablespoons of screaming chorus
3 liters of obligatory slower tempo song
Top it all off with an album sleeve making use of a plethora of fonts to give that ziney and homemade feel.
A very easy recipe to follow and in the case of the Lost Prophets the result is a boring album. Star Something makes for an exercise in gratuitous boredom with a touch of every modern rock cliché possible. The best way to describe this album is to call it generic, very generic. To be honest I was ready to give this album a chance, but sometimes you need to call a spade a spade (to quote the obligatory wizened old relative filled with folksy wisdom I may or may not have). Come on Student Association, even a bunch of high school freshmen won’t buy into this garbage.