Ace Enders & A Million Different People

When I Hit The Ground

Written by: PP on 09/04/2009 15:03:36

First, some introductions. Ace Enders is/was the mastermind behind The Early November, the now-defunct emo-indie band that received universal acclaim from both critics and the fans. As such, his name carries a huge status in the indie/emo-pop scene, and his new projects are constantly rushed to by thousands and thousands of The Early November fans wishing for two things: the band's re-union or that Ace's new project would sound at least a little like his old band did. Granted, his previous solo efforts haven't received as much publicity as they probably should have, but this time's different. For his third solo album "When I Hit The Ground" and second under the moniker Ace Enders & A Million Different People, he has enlisted a list of who's who from the indie/emo-pop scene: Mark Hoppus (Blink 182, +44), Matt Thiessen (Relient K), Kenny Vasoli (The Starting Line), Craig Owens (Chiodos), Alex Gaskarth (All Time Low), Aaron Marsh (Copeland), Duane F. Okun (Socratic), and Bryce Avery (the Rocket Summer) are all mentioned in the credits, but I must admit I'm still confused as to whether they actually contributed to any of the songs on the record. You certainly cannot hear them, unless I haven't been paying attention or something.

So how does the constellation sound in practice? Well, largely like The Early November but with slightly more energy, evident in faster songs and more obvious choruses. Where TEN was subtle, gentle and often acoustic, Ace Enders & A Million Different People is more like the opposite, although similarities can be heard in places as well. A song like "Reaction" takes a stab at ultra-poppy pop punk, "SOS" trusts in gentle pop structure, whereas "Where Do We Go From Here" is emotionally charged rock at its best. The last song is even reaching into post-hardcore with it's half-yelled, half-screamed chorus, and it's certainly the strongest/heaviest I've heard Ace Enders to ever sound like. "Take The Money And Run" falls into the same category. These are all decent songs that any TEN / indie-flavored emo-pop fan should take a liking to.

But then we have a few weaker ones, such as the all-acoustic "New Guitar", and the strangely groovy "Sweeter Light", that don't really say much to me. The formula has stayed largely the same, with pop-choruses and gentler verses in both songs, but they just aren't as catchy as the songs mentioned before. "Emergency" is another acoustic ballad in the vein of "New Guitar", and I have to say it just doesn't work. It's not interesting. "Bring Back Love" sounds a little like Copeland at their heaviest (it's relative, I know), but really, Copeland did this style much better.

Despite the criticisms though, "When I Hit The Ground" is a reasonably enjoyable indie-flavored emo-pop record. It offers next to no surprises and only few decidedly bad tracks. And since I can't call it a great album (it just doesn't live up to TEN), nor can I call it a bad album (really, the songs are mostly solid), I'm going to award it a solid


Download: Take The Money And Run, Where Do We Go From Here, SOS
For the fans of: The Early November, Dashboard Confessional, Something Corporate
Listen: Myspace

Release date 17.03.2009


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