I loved The Reunion Show. “The Motion” remains one of my favorite EPs to date. I loved Count the Stars. “Never Be Taken Alive” is the soundtrack to a summer for me. I was devasted when both bands broke up. Then again, I was ecstatic when I heard remains of these bands would be forming a new band. “Don’t Cut Your Fabric to This Year’s Fashion” had some good songs on it, but let me down. There was a lot of boring stuff on that album. I can’t say the same for “An Army…”
Holy synth-lines abound, Batman! This album’s packing heat in the form of keys and beats. The opening track, “Smoke and Mirrors” is heavy with synth and Mark’s voice fits the mood perfectly.
Let’s hop forward a couple of songs to “Sleep Paralysis.” This is an ubeat number telling “everyone to wake up.” Head his words. This song will have you dancing about. Not to mention the outtro to the song will have you scratching your head while it’s still bobbing up and down. If you took a recorder(like the ones you had to practice with in Jr. High for band) and screwed around with it in fruity loops, you’d have this sound.
The album’s first single, “The Game,” is reminiscent of retro-rock such as Rooney. For real. I’m not kidding. Aside from Mark’s voice, I could see this being on a Rooney disc. The big difference is; I like Rooney. I don’t like this song. There’s no synth here, and honestly, when it’s present, that’s this band at their finest.
“Paper Cliche” picks things back up. It sounds like Shiny Toy Guns minus female vocals. I dig this song pretty well and would add it to rotation at a club. It rocks out allowing you to thrash and groove at the same time.
“120 Ways to Kill You: An Illustrated Children’s Book” has a very “80s feel” to it. This song is one of my favorites on the album.
Unless you want to go to sleep, skip “What Temperature Does Air Freeze At?” This song tries to be artsy and fails. It’s pretty boring.
Aside from the last two tracks on the disc, the rest are synth-driven pop that will make you want to go listen to Joy Division. That’s where this band are at their finest. Stop making slow music, because frankly, we’re listening to you for the novelty that you’re a synth-pop band. We want dancy, upbeat stuff. Take out the few sleepy songs next time around, and I’ll be 100% happy.
If you liked the first album, definitely pick this one up, because it’s way better. If you didn’t like the first album, give this one a spin and see what you think.
1. Smoke and Mirrors
2. Chemical Frustration
3. A Tornado; An Owl
4. Sleep Paralysis
5. The Game
6. Paper Cliche
7. 120 Ways to Kill You: An Illustrated Children’s Book
8. What Temperature Does Air Freeze?
9. The Other 90% of the Iceberg
10. Analogue Logic
11. Don’t Shoot the Messenger(Not My Idea)
12. Attached to the Fifth Story
13. The Blanket Truth