Monday, January 15, 2007

CD: Now It's Overhead, "Dark Light Daybreak"

You know what’s often found overhead? The ceiling. Now It’s Overhead’s new record, Dark Light Daybreak certainly seems to have a ceiling in the way. Slick and synthesized and almost entirely sung in a beaming tone, this is rock that’s not soft enough to be New Age, but too self-hating to be classified as anything modern. It’s just wimpy music that’s being accompanied by leftover lyrics from better songs, and the majority of the tracks sound as if the band gave up halfway through, finishing each on autopilot with the same whiny chorus, over and over again. After the first two tedious songs, “Walls” at least has a few cute lines, but that’s also a literal statement: it’s only got a few cute lines. “You broke the walls that block your way/hey kid you’re in over your head/you broke the walls that block your way.”

Do you really want to listen to an album where the only thing to look forward to is a song that somewhat relieves the tension by not sucking as much? You’d be better off just downloading the rare good song here and there – “Type A” is a slower form of the urban rock that We Are Scientists have perfected, and “Dark Light Daybreak” might be mistaken as a light passage from an Evanescence B-side. If you’re looking for patterns, “Meaning to Say” has the 70s cadence, but slower, really savoring its cute electric chords and jolly hymn-like choruses. “Let Up” belies the band’s true calling, which is as a modern folk-rock/country hybrid, because at least then their high-pitched melancholy fits.

This is a pared-down, less melodic riff on what R.E.M. put their seal on years ago, and it’s annoying to have to sit through toy songs like “Night Vision” long enough to even write this commentary on it for you. That the makers of this album haven’t been hammered with lightning from God is proof enough for me that nothing’s overhead.

[First posted at Silent Uproar on 1/10]

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