The Thomas Confession


Written by: TL on 15/04/2012 22:15:59

It's been a pretty quiet day here on Rockfreaks, but to break the silence allow me to squeeze in a few words about California based dance-rock quartet The Thomas Confession, who put out the first studio LP "Convolutions" in December last year. The most curious thing about the band judging from their facebook is that the first two bands they list among their inspirations are Muse and t.A.T.u. - .. and I'll just let that hang there in your mind for a moment to allow you to join me in wondering; "what in the world is the product of such inspirations going to sound like?"

As it turns out, what it sounds like is dance-beat infused rock music, draped in cheesy euro synths and angsty/campy vocals. Okay, so I can hear a little inspiration from the likes of Matthew Bellamy and/or Brian Molko in there, yet the rather cheesy, chorus oriented soundscape makes me think The Thomas Confession are better recommended to fans of bands like Kill Hannah. I know that will likely have more than half of this site's readership reacting like this, and while I normally have a quite high tolerance for things others consider camp, it turns out that the rather androgynous first impression isn't even the main problem for "Convolutions".

Instead, what really troubles the record is that for each good idea The Thomas Confession have had, they've had at least a bad one or two to accompany it. Take "Put Your Mind To It", which opens with a nice pace and a cool synth riff/guitar chords combination, only to break down into a stupendously slow, ridiculously old-fashioned solo part halfway through - honestly, it sounds like a Pretty Maids solo, not something that makes sense here - and then when the song picks up again, it's with some of the weakest falsetto work you will ever hear. Or how about "Heartbreaking Sight"; Opens with a cool guitar riff, decent work in the verse and then suddenly the chorus comes in and sounds like something you'd expect to hear in a Finnish contribution to the EuroVision Song Contest. And these are not rare slips of the band's hand unfortunately, because similar problems present themselves later, for instance in the ballad "Oh, If You Could See", the bluesy guitar of which just sounds old-fashioned and completely out of place.

The one positive thing I have to say about "Convolutions" is that it is at least occasionally catchy, and while it isn't surprising considering the conservative chord progressions and repetitive choruses, it's still a redeeming factor in less problematic songs such as "When Everyone's Dancing" and opener "Love Like Fire". Still though, when you factor in the predictable compositions, the poorly combined ideas and then on top of it, the band's soundscape - which is so far removed from what seems to be cool in the music business of today as can be - I'm afraid I must give these guys better odds of making something of their band if they apply make-up and colourful extensions and try to cater to sexually confused teenagers, than if they hope to make a serious impression with fans of the bands they claim to be inspired by, such as Muse, Pink Floyd, Incubus and U2.


Download: Love Like Fire, When Everyone's Dancing,
For The Fans Of: Kill Hannah, My Passion, The Dreams, Tokio Hotel

Release Date 05.12.2011

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