Picture Perfect


Written by: PP on 11/08/2014 23:27:26

The Jealous Sound started it. Brand New popularized it. The Dangerous Summer and Balance & Composure revived it. Strange Vacation continued it. And here we are, in the midst of an explosion of a multitude of bands all playing an eerily similar, slightly echoing interpretation of indie-flavored emo/alternative rock. But this was to be expected given the momentous success of the aforementioned bands alongside the equally brilliant, yet criminally underrated debut album by Have Mercy last year, which earned the best album of 2013 rating from yours truly. Picture Perfect from New Jersey are the latest band to explore the wide-open soundscapes available to introspective, emotionally charged bands who don't want to go down the route of revivalist emo rather than to use alternative rock as their enabling platform on debut album "Rose"

"Rose" is essentially a rowdier and a rawer version of the polished soundscapes utilized by Strange Vacation and The Dangerous Summer. It is equally touching and introspective as Have Mercy in places - in fact vocalist Pete Zengerle shares such a great deal of similarity to his counterpart Brian Swindle that I had to double-check it's not his side project - albeit with a slightly faster tempo. "Stone" and "Decompose" are the slow ballad-esque pieces that most recall Have Mercy, whereas opener "Dead Days" and album highlight "Off The Grid" feel more like The Dangerous Summer on steroids. The guitars are sharper, the songs are a little faster than they need to be for full effect, yet they work nonetheless thanks to emotionally torn vocals that sound heart wrenching in their delivery.

It falls right in between the material by all of the bands we've discussed earlier in this review, but with one difference. Despite containing emotional depth in the form of introspective vocals, the songs themselves have a simpler vibe instrumentally that on one hand makes them much easier to digest than, say, the Have Mercy album, but it comes at the cost of the small intricacies and details that elevate the record from a good album into a great one.

"Rose" is an excellent debut album that showcases a lot of promise, but it's arriving in the middle of a crowded field of contenders that, in this scribe's opinion, all have released slightly better albums in comparison. That doesn't make it a bad album, rather than just unfortunate in its timing.


Download: Off The Grid, Voodoo
For the fans of: Have Mercy, The Dangerous Summer, Strange Vacation, The Jealous Sound, Balance & Composure
Listen: Facebook

Release date 15.04.2014
Mutant League Records

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