Comes And Goes

Written by: TL on 06/11/2009 15:53:47

Often when I meet new people and get to talking to them about how I spend my time, some of the less awesome of them ask me why exactly I keep reviewing without getting paid. Of the many possible answers to this question, one of the better ones is that I get to experience sometimes being forced to review a band that I expect to be utter crap, only to spin their disc and find myself singing along to some sweet tunes even before I'm all the way through it. One such album is "Comes And Goes", by the Vancouver four-piece Default.

Truth be told, "Comes And Goes" is the first Default album I come by (out of four LP's), and as such, it wasn't prior mistakes that was the root of my prejudice. Take one look at the band's myspace however, and you'll probably follow my line of thinking. Does that not look like the page of just about the most soulless, safe and ready-for-mainstream-radio excuse for a rock band? No? Well sorry, I guess that's just me who got that impression, not that it matters much, because from track one, "Turn It On", Default go about proving that while they can definitely swim in the mainstream, their take on radio rock is everything but soulless.

The opening track twists and turns with exactly the right kind of hard rockin' riffage and attitude filled vocals, and establishes quickly that Default don't waste time waiting for slow-witted listeners, oh no sir, the parts follow each other like pearls on a string, and each maintains both momentum and quality. The same can mostly be said for the songs, as the up-beat "All Over Me" has a chorus that will have you singing along every time, and when it's over, you'll only have to live through a single, 3 Doors Down-ish ballad before you get to the next highlight at track four, namely "Goodbye". Before we talk about that though, let's just establish, just in case you haven't figured it out yet, that exactly 3 Doors Down, as well as similar bands like Fuel and to some extent Nickelback, are the most accurate points of reference for Default. Only in my opinion, Default rock more than two out of three of those bands of course. Anyway, "Goodbye" opens up with a choral arrangement that gives you just enough time to recall Genesis, only to open up into a galloping barnstormer alá Pearl Jam, and oh how sweet it is to realize that there's more than one or two tricks hidden up the sleeve of this band.

However, all is not entirely impressive on "Comes And Goes", as the latter half of the album, starting early already on track five, features the predictable lull in form of songs that feature too little tempo and loudness. "Hold Onto You" and "Comes And Goes" are the exceptions, each anthemic enough to have impact even at their slow pace, but around them lies three other songs, of which especially "Supposed To Be" is a bit too sugary for my taste.

Fortunately, things are close off properly with "Fascination" and "Yesterday's Song", both of which return to a rockin' attitude, with especially the former renewing the listener's interest in the album. An album that's an overall positive surprise, because while it does by no means betray the initial impression of a stylistic link to conventional American radio rock, it avoids many of the pitfalls found there, better so than some of the first bands you'll be likely to compare Default to. It's not at all original, but it is very well done and very enjoyable.


Download: Turn It On, All Over Me, Goodbye, Hold Onto You
For The Fans Of: Fuel, 3 Doors Down, Nickelback

Release Date 29.09.2009
EMI Canada

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