Four Star Alarm, Four Star Alarm

Four Star Alarm, Four Star Alarm

Four Star Alarm’s self-titled EP is competent, well-written guitar rock. The drumming’s strong, all the instruments are well-played, and the vocalist at least sounds like he’s heard Mike Patton and Brandon Boyd, especially on “Impenetrable,” which could easily have been a B-side on Make Yourself. The drums are a bit loud in the mix, but it’s not bad, and the whole album sounds well-recorded. (With the exception of the sound of the right guitar, that is; it gets a bit muddy in some of the songs and needs to be louder on the left. I’m guessing that the dude on the left is the Izzy Stradlin of the band). It doesn’t sound auto-tuned, which is a good thing, although it says something about the current state of this genre that one automatically assumes that there has been some tuning chicanery going on. Usual lyrical content: world sucks, you suck, parents suck, etc.

One of the nice things about EPs is that they tend to be pretty solid, since there isn’t room for filler, and the band’s had a ton of time to refine the best songs in their catalog. I thought it was interesting that Four Star Alarm ended with the strongest song (of all strong songs), “Impenetrable,” although it’s the song that most blatantly nicks Incubus. Maybe that’s why it’s at the end: if you heard it first, you’d immediately toss Four Star Alarm away as a clone band. As it is, you hear an influence rather than outright theft.

Overall, though, “competent” is about the best I can say. It all sounds great, but there’s not really anything that you go “whoa, that’s interesting,” either musically or lyrically. That isn’t to say that it’s bad or not well-done, but there just isn’t much here. Four Star Alarm sounds pretty much like every other MTV2 band right now, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it doesn’t do much for getting you anything but lumped in with the rest of the crowd. I’m guessing their live shows are pretty ripping (this music lends itself to a good bashing; I’ll be sure to see them when they come around next), and hopefully their label gives them a chance to evolve and grow. A strong but safe debut.

(Thick Records, Inc. -- P.O. Box 351899, Los Angeles, CA. 90035; http://www.thickrecords.com/; Four Star Alarm -- http://www.myspace.com/fourstaralarm)
BUY ME: Amazon

Review by . Review posted Tuesday, February 13th, 2007. Filed under Reviews.

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