Four Minute Mile – I Learned it From Watching You

Four Minute Mile
I Learned it From Watching You

I’ve seen Four Minute Mile play live and recall enjoying the band. I remember that they were entertaining, powerful, and, despite their shameless Get Up Kids reference of a name, I enjoyed them. They have a sound that is somehow Bald Repunzel-ish, which is a band that I fell in love with a few years ago before they broke up. Yes, they too had a rather ridicules name! So I got this four-song EP from Four Minute Mile in a rad cover and layout design and put it in only to be gravely disappointed. For all of the money spent going into the jewel case for this puppy, I say add a few more songs! These ones all have the same grungy guitar sound and loud feel.
A lot of times at shows or just on a new CD, a band doesn’t seem to have a lot going on. It just jumbles together as noise, and you sort of direct your attention elsewhere because the music doesn’t hold on to your attention. Four Minute Mile begin songs wonderfully. With the first few seconds of a song, they have you thinking it’s going to be a sweet emo ballad with crashing guitars thrown in, crunching everything up. The kicker is Carey Heads’ Alice In Chains-ish vocal style. This strong voice that can be used in a sort of angered snarl metal-type vein. On the other hand, the crunching guitars and choruses on songs like “My Name is Disaster” also add to that feel. They have you almost wondering at times whether this EP was recorded poorly because of the distortion. Overall I doubt that the mixing is too blame and figure the band just enjoys some serious metal-rock distortion.
The problem is that after a few songs, unless you are completely into the 80’s heavier stuff, you start to feel subject to redundancy. The break downs and build ups are short and sweet with the classic two strums and a pause over and over behind. There are driving guitar rhythms in the choruses of the second track, which is nearly impossible to find a name for. Eventually I guessed it is “Success in Circles.” There are always these teasing bits of melody and guitar riffs that eventually bust into full metal force, leaving you disappointed. “You are the Money” begins with Carey singing “all drunk and in need of an ass kicking” with slowed fade guitar and again utilizing his very strong Alice In Chains like voice. I find I am waiting for the kick in-break out to come crashing in with guitar, but it refreshingly doesn’t come.
I think if you have the chance to see Four Minute Mile and you like metal you should go ahead and check them out. I remember thinking they had a decent guitar structure and a good vocalist. If you’re expecting anything like The Get Up Kids, you’ll be in for a rude awakening. Besides, it is very clearly written inside the jewel case “we will not let go,” which leads me to believe these guys aren’t going anywhere!