My Ticket Home

To Create A Cure

Written by: AP on 26/06/2012 11:06:59

In 2009, My Ticket Home were voted the best unsigned band in central Ohio for their first EP, “Above the Great City”, which, due to their stylistic alignment with another very popular band from their hometown Columbus, Attack Attack!, attracted the interest of Rise Records, who at the time had a keen eye for such bands. Three years and another EP, “The Opportunity to Be”, later, the band has finally taken the important step of releasing their debut album “To Create a Cure”, which was sent to us in January for consideration. Since our specialist in this kind of music, Botong ‘BL’ Li, is busy with establishing himself in the real world at the moment, the task of reviewing it has fallen to me. And given the above condensation of the band's history, I've had absolutely no illusions about what type of album it is.

While some applause must be offered to the band for at least diversifying their approach from one song to the next, the overall impression that “To Create a Cure” leaves is that My Ticket Home are very much surviving on the current fads. Their music consists of traditional guitar work, with one guitarist - presumably Sean Mackowski - providing the rhythmic foundation and the other - Eli Ford - texturing it with lead melodies that rarely stand out; an abundance of cleanly sung passages, courtesy of Mackowski, intercepting Nick Giumenti's screaming, as well as the usual vocal hooks that, in this time and age, are almost painfully hackneyed, yet guaranteed to enamor audiences in a live setting; and of course an array of decently placed breakdowns. All of this is supplemented by a backdrop of synth and keyboard samples, and mixed by Attack Attack! vocalist Caleb Shomo (who also makes a guest appearance on “Dead Weight”) into a production that tolerates no glitches and effectively removes every notion of authenticity from the album. On paper then, My Ticket Home tick all the right boxes to be a (temporary) success on the Rise roster. But while the execution of their ideas is clinically precise, the ideas themselves are starting to become passé.

When placed in a macro-context, there is little here to distinguish My Ticket Home from other bands, such as Attack Attack!, We Came As Roman, Woe, Is Me and what have you. It sounds as though the band deliberately chose to research the reasons behind the success of their widely recognized peers and attempted to replicate them, thus opting out of the arduous task of discovering ways to differentiate their own product. Instead the goal here seems to be mass appeal, as My Ticket Home work with two very different, yet equally potent types of song: the heavy ones that cater to the modern mosher (exemplified best by “Motion Sickness”, “Dark Days” and “A Thief of One, a Thief of Many” – all of which manage to sound downright scary at times), and the anthemic rock songs that have the theoretical potential to engulf arenas (songs like “The Truth Changes If We Both Lie”, “Atlas” and “The Dream Code”, which sounds awkwardly much like Nickelback’s “Hero”). Sadly in neither format does the band succeed at coming across as particularly inventive, as the driving force – what unifies all of the songs on the album – is the shameless exploitation of clichés.

6

Download: Who is 67?; A Thief of One, a Thief of Many; Dark Days
For the fans of: Attack Attack!; We Came As Romans; Woe, Is Me
Listen: Facebook

Release date 31.01.2012
Rise Records

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