Jamie's Elsewhere

Guidebook For Sinners Turned Saints

Written by: TL on 14/06/2008 14:34:16

Lets get it out in the open straight away: Whether or not you're going to like the new boys on Victory, Jamie's Elsewhere, and their debut album "Guidebook For Sinners Turned Saints" will depend almost exclusively on how you feel about screamo these days. If you hate it, you'll probably hate this album, and you might as well stop reading now. If you're waiting for a band to come around and do something that completely revolutionizes the genre, then this is not it either, and there's no need to make illusions about it. However, should you like screamo for its contrasting mix of the beautiful, the aggressive and the desperate, then this is a band who seems to have read and understood the manual for crafting a screamo record far better than most contenders these days.

The first thing you're going to notice when you give the record a spin, is the voice of frontman Chris Paterson as he cries out impossibly high notes on lead vocals. We're talking Saosin-era Anthony Green levels here, and if you're a fan of them, Dance Gavin Dance or akissforjersey, "Guidebook..." should be icing on the top of your cake. To be honest it does take quite a few spins to get used to a pitch this high, but once you get there, you'll realise that the extended notes never get to seem as exaggerated as for instance those of BEDlight For BlueEYES.

The key to this album however, is how the band has chosen to keep screams in the mix despite having such a capable lead singer, and furthermore they've understood how to balance the two vocal styles. Instead of trading lines or getting stuck in a verse/chorus formula, the clean vocals have the lead as they aid the guitars in building up melodic soundscapes, and then the screams come in, adding edge and depth to things just when they're on the verge of becoming a bit too pretty.

Now I didn't actually like this record too much to begin with, as I found it somewhat flat. However certain lines in the songs just seem to have haunted my mind, forcing me to put the record on again and again, and after I've gotten used to the fact that the singing is rooted in another pitch than we're used to, I've started noticing the variations and hooks in each of the different songs, and I gather the same effect should likely hit you if you give the record a chance. What I mean to say is that as long as you don't expect it to reinvent any wheels, "Guidebook For Sinners Turned Saints" will reveal itself to you as one of the better screamo releases of late.

8

Download: The Love Letter Collection, The Politics Of Knife-Fighting,
For The Fans Of: Dance Gavin Dance, akissforjersey, Bedlight For Blueeyes
Listen: myspace.com/jamieselsewhere

Release Date 27.05.2008
Victory

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