Fivespeed is a newer signing to the Equal Vision Records roster. The band’s EVR debut is found exclusively online and at shows, but it’s not worth the trouble. Bella is a four-song EP containing boring and uninspiring radio rock.
An overdriven fuzz-box riff starts “Vegas” in the vain of Jawbox. The verses are decent enough, with brooding croons and dark, churning guitars. Soon the routine chorus returns the song to the stone age. Then the singer yells “they’ll probably win!” repeatedly with disgusting radio angst. “The Mess” has a routine formula like the last song, but the vocals are more constipated and resemble Puddle of Mudd. “Hand or Rifle” has more textured guitar riffs, but it’s still such a cut-and-paste song. The verse/chorus transitions are so blatant and expected, and by now the band’s downfall is clearly originality. Fivespeed wraps up with a demo song called “Are We In?” The sad part is that this “demo” outshines the rest of the EP. A more post-hardcore tone, aggressive guitars, and catchy choruses all add to the demo’s stand-out nature.
I’ve been impressed by EVR’s unknown signings in the past, but Fivespeed happens to be an exception. For forgettable rock music, look no further.