Ponce De Leon – Demo

Oh dear, what can we say about Ponce De Leon. First, we can state that it is admirable that these guys burned up a CDR and made an effort to get it out! They made a nice looking demo cover and included lyrics, which is always a plus. Usually if I can’t stand a band I can always look at the lyrics and see if nothing else that they have something good to say. Not that I can’t stand Ponce De Leon, but you get the point.
I am not sure what Ponce means, but unfortunately when I first saw the word I thought of a perverted guy named Ponce who once hung all over me for an entire night despite my repeated begging that he discontinue. [We’re unsure if the explorer Ponce De Leon from whom the band undoubtedly took its name was a perverted hanger-on, but we have our suspicions. – ed.] This worried me into fearing the band would do the same! I was wrong. The CD’s opener, “Like Something Not Like That,” blasts out in a chaotic manor of hardcore screamo type noise. I don’t prefer much of this musical type, and so I did not enjoy the song. Lucky for me the hectic vocals and obnoxiousness were over quickly.
The second song, “Holds Ambitions, Suffers Knowingly,” started out much nicer but is ruined by an overly loud vocal track provided by a mediocre singer. He doesn’t put enough emotion into his singing, which takes away from the drive of the music, and the arrangement is pretty much lost. Again luckily, “Utopiates” comes on next and is a nice, slowed-down instrumental ballad. I settled into this one pretty nicely. The mix in the spotlight of drums and guitar is nice. They each get their chance to shine as opposed to earlier songs that consisted mostly of distorted guitars. The song is climactic and builds up with good arrangement. I suppose like any instrumental it can get old or boring after a bit, but I didn’t really notice this to be the case because the song is constantly changing.
The following tracks again provide silly vocals but would otherwise be pretty chaotic. The singing style on them is a bit like older The Tie That Binds, which is a GREAT band I have been digging out a lot lately. This factor made me not want to hear more Ponce De Leon but rather swap it for The Tie That Binds, if you know what I mean. The sound does kind of wind down toward the end, and some crazy guitar twists make for a nice ending piece. The vocals also sound much better on the last track, probably because they are not so much louder than the music this go round.
Overall, not a bad start for a newer band of three teenage boys. They seem enjoy the likes of Braid, Rites of Spring, and You & I, which makes for a nice influence for starters. I think they have a nice feature ahead of them, and it makes me happy to see some kids doing serious writing rather then trying to be the next Blink-182. I expect when they do hit the studio they will come out with something not so bad after all.