Life On The Sideline

Honesty Is A Dying Breed

Written by: PP on 21/07/2014 23:22:38

Well now we're really looking back into practically ancient history when it comes to the modern emo movement. Life On The Sideline from Connecticut are referencing the early to mid 2000s emocore scene, especially bands like Hawthorne Heights, Armor For Sleep, and why not even Anberlin's early work throughout their debut album "Honesty Is A Dying Breed". Even the cliché title reeks of early 2000s emo worship. But don't get me wrong, I'm a sucker for the retrospective emo scene and I was there when HH screamed the epic "so cut my wrists and black my eyes" lines on "Ohio Is For Lovers", and although "Honesty Is A Dying Breed" never really goes that far into clichés, it's still a decent record as long as you're able to tolerate its highly emotional lyricism.

Most of this is brought through the calm and collected singing style of their clean vocalist, whose work can also be compared to the likes of Ace Enders (The Early November). It's laid back and quiet, somber even, which makes him a solid contrast for their secondary vocalist, who adds a slightly more modern tint to their soundscape. He sounds more like Stu Ross did when he was fronting Living With Lions on their excellent "Holy Shit" album from three years ago, meaning a scratchy and a less polished expression instead. Together, these two cook up some cool, nostalgia-driven emo songs that range from nothingsaying to truly excellent. An example of the latter is "Drive", the highlight track of the album, which really channels the classic "The Silence In Black And White" era HH material with its rhythmic pacing and the subtle, yet lyrically explosive "I wouldn't call what I have closure / And I'm not sure that i ever will [...] rip away the pages/ rip away, just rip away" lines. The title track is good, too, here sounding very much like Living With Lions in general because of the generally higher tempo, while "Surround" retreats back into the 2000s emocore, while still retaining a catchy element that makes the track stick.

At the same time, there is also material on the record that doesn't really stick to mind at all, either because it's too quiet, too emo, or both at the same time. Fortunately there aren't too many such moments but enough to put me off from the higher ratings nonetheless. Either way, any early 2000s emo fans when the genre exploded into mainstream recognition (and before it was misidentified as Fall Out Boy / My Chemical Romance) should find plenty to like here.

Download: Drive, Surround, Rough Draft
For the fans of: Living With Lions, Hawthorne Heights, Armor For Sleep
Listen: Facebook

Release date 22.04.2014
Take This To Heart Records

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