…And once again, the reviewer’s quandary becomes how to properly describe a band that could fall into multiple genres. Let’s see – there’s pop-punk, emo, and to slightly more liberal folks, ‘screamo’ could apply at points.
Yeah, welcome to Chasing Victory’s A Not So Tragic Cover-Up. The songs are ulta-melodic, the guitars are laid on thick, and the production work is crisp and clean; the result is an album that sounds undeniably professional and friendly for mass audiences. This is definitely the kind of release that 14-year-old sisters and nieces will really get into.
Despite suffering from (what most folks would consider) those relatively common pratfalls of this style, Chasing Victory actually shores up a quaintly enjoyable little five-song release here. For the most part, the band doesn’t get overly sappy with the vocal delivery, and the guitars change up enough to keep the songs interesting. Hell, near the end of “Violent and Armed,” the band chugs out Weezer-esque rhythm chords while a Sunny Day Real Estate-styled melody line plays over them; despite the obvious nod to band influences, the end result is remarkably transcendent of the individual pieces.
The only major shortcoming the band seems to have is that Adam Harrell does seem to lapse into the ‘whoops, I was singing but then I started yelling and screaming’ vocal stylings a bit much, most notably on the angry closing track, “Journal Entry.” Still, his yelling transgressions on “Come Between Anything” are easily forgiven because the song’s just so damned wonderful anyways.
If anyone’s ever wondered what a collaborative Samiam/Thursday EP would sound like, this is probably a disc to pick up quickly. It seems that a great lot of musicians/music writers tend to complain about ‘formulaic’ releases; well, A Not So Tragic Cover-Up proves that even the most played-out formula can still sound pretty marvelous with solid songwriting to back it up.