A Static Lullaby review by A Static Lullaby

logo Ultimate Guitar
  • Released: Oct 10, 2006
  • Sound: 7
  • Lyrics: 9
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.8 (35 votes)
A Static Lullaby: A Static Lullaby
0

Sound — 7
The screams are aplenty on A Static Lullaby's latest self-titled, which although will be embraced by hardcore fans, it is likely to be a nuisance to hordes of other listeners. The unfortunate fact of the matter is that A Static Lullaby has a lot of interesting ideas in it's songwriting, and that usually ends up in the shadow of the screams. With a lackluster reaction from fans to Faso Latido, a 2005 release that was apparently in need of the requisite screams, it does seem that the band decided to go full force the other way. On the latest album, the A Static Lullaby (vocalist/screamer Joe Brown, vocalists/guitarists Dan Arnold and John Death, bassist Dane Poppin, and drummer Jarrod Alexander) wastes no time in setting an impression with a barrage of screams in the first tracks, Hang 'Em High. After a brief computer-like intro, the song goes into screamo mode. The song does feature some nice melodies and harmonies, and when the actual singing takes over, it is a solid tune. It is a bit of a roller coaster ride between the screams and normal vocals, but for fans that ability to strike a balance does seem to be one of the main selling points of the band. That formula aside, it is a guitar line near the end of the song sounding a bit like the intro heard in Velvet Revolver's Slither that is the most memorable segment of the track. The screams fit perfectly in a song like Annexation Of Puerto Rico, the most metal-inspired song on the CD. Everything -- from the bass to the drums -- get a chance to shine in this one, not to mention at appropriate times. In contrast, when A Static Lullaby throws random screams in Contagious, a mellower track that is just thrown off-kilter by the outbursts. Fans might adore the screaming portion of the songs, but those moments actually create a disjointed song. The best song on the CD is Mechanical Heart, which has an extremely eerie feel when it takes unexpected chord changes during the chorus. It does contain screams for the scream purists, but it also contains an a cappella harmony section that shows the band's ability to choose creative and innovative ways to color their songs. With a solid guitar solo at the tail end as well, the band proves they go beyond a lot of other screamo band's songwriting methods. While there are obviously millions of fans who adore screamo bands, there does need to be a point when the bands see that the screaming portion doesn't always go in certain areas of a song. When there is an emotional moment that calls for screaming, then by all means let loose. But when it is overdone and used to the point of annoyance as is the case many times with A Static Lullaby, bands need to take a step back to see if the screaming needs to be inserted into every other line in a song.

Lyrics — 9
The lyrics are actually one of the stronger aspects of the band. While multiple bands today stick to songs of heartache or generalized anger, A Static Lullaby actually creates scenes -- often times haunting ones -- that built plots within the songs. In Mechanical Heart, part of the intrigue comes in whether the lyrics tell the story of a physical murder or more of a metaphorical murder of adolescence. The verse says, Retrace the steps that led to a cellophane headdress; And they were found asphyxiated in a pool of tears that follow. The odd imagery is captivating and unlike what you usually hear in contemporary songs, which is a refreshing change. Hang 'Em High has the same type of vivid descriptive value as Mechanical Heart. With a scene that appears to be the site of a car crash, the listener is left to piece together what happened in the accident at hand. The character tries to recollect what happened singing, Realized; The broken glass; The concrete paint the lines; Too many times the steel have won; We're pulling out to make it on our own. There is obviously more than just a car accident that the persona is reflecting upon, and that has the ability to keep listeners interested. If you're looking for songs of the heart, the band won't necessarily have what you're looking for in the dark story lines found in the lyrics. The stories that evolve in A Static Lullaby's songs may be a bit too dark or contrived for some, but the band deserves credit for going beyond what is heard out there.

Overall Impression — 8
If there is one thing that A Static Lullaby should never underestimate, it is the power in subtlety. On a song like Trigger Happy Tarantula, there is an incredible breakdown in the middle of the song with memorable harmonies and a slowed-down pace that is one of the best moments on the record. They lay off the screams for a while, and song is taken to a whole different level. The band may still be feeling the heat from fans' reaction to Faso Latido, and that might still be weighing heavy on their minds, however. A Static Lullaby has a lot of talent in the songs it performs on the latest self-titled CD, and if you aren't distracted by out-of-place screams, then you'll love it. But placement is a big deal for cohesive songwriting, and A Static Lullaby doesn't get that right all of the time. Thankfully, the band members still have moments throughout that allow them to showcase their exceptional knowledge of their respective instruments.

27 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Jawkster
    2nd comment eh? i quite like them, i'll still get the album to see what they're like myself.
    FinderofNemo
    They made Faso Latido for money, they made this to get their fans back probably. This album absolutely kicks ass, I love it.
    andrewjf
    this album got boring way to quickly. its songs like "Trigger Happy Tarantula" , "Stare at the Air" and "The Collision" that makes you think wtf is this shit?
    padley2006
    i love this album.. i dnt realli care wot people class them as.. there a great band wotever they are... people should jst enjoy the music instead of bickering over wot genre they are.. near enuf every1 agrees that there a great so just leave it at that.. =)
    TONguitar
    theyre rock. end of story. and the best song is The Collision, not Mechanical Heart.
    FinderofNemo
    This is my favorite album from the band. I noticed that there are two version to "Hang 'Em High" when I got the CD. The computer intro sounds different in the original one I had, probably a demo or something.
    Yeah I Got That Too
    AllMidnightEyes
    This is my favorite album from the band. I noticed that there are two version to "Hang 'Em High" when I got the CD. The computer intro sounds different in the original one I had, probably a demo or something.
    liamdaguitarist
    yeah this cd is kick ass. one thing that did piss me off is this site having no tabs for any of the songs from this album so i made one art of sharing lovers is up now go check it out
    uninsane_guitar
    I'm brand new to A Static Lullaby, i saw them on headbanger's ball and got addicted. THEY ARE F***KING AWESOME! all three of their albums rock, well, maybe not so much Fatso Latido, but they are kool, up yours UG.com reviewers!
    angels side
    SGxMastodonxSG wrote: cbursley346924 wrote: Oh god..is someone else gonna start complaining about what genre someone is in? Blah, this is metalcore, this is hardcore, emo, scream, wahh wahh, everything must be catagorized. Can't you guys just enjoy musicianship? Either way, I dont care much for this review. I think it's a little wrong that someone who is listening to a SCREAMo album has a problem with the screaming. I think its a fantastic album. I like how you attack someone for placing this band in a genre, then come back and say they are screamo. By the way, they aren't even screamo. They are Pop Punk
    Pop punk. F*** they are. Why dont you get your head out of your a$$ and learn how to catagorize bands. Pop Punk, that is disrespectful.
    FinderofNemo
    And if you want to argue about the genre, just call it alternative rock and get over it. Geeze.
    andrewjf
    this cd is great.ASL has came back.Faso Latido was sooooo horrible i dont know why or how they would even create stuff thats not them
    shiznac
    there is no such thing as screamo static lullaby is a metalcore band
    TeethVSCurb911
    I Love this CD and this Band and I don't give a shit about what style of music it is, though I would personally classify it as Post-Hardcore.
    Kiotaka
    This cd was great...I still don't know why people who don't like bands insist on visiting their review pages...
    HospitalMusic
    I wasnt attacking him about that. HE placed the genre in himself, you'd just imagine that someone would grow three brain cells and think, "an album that I just put in a screamo genre has screaming?!?! NO WAY!" duh. true.
    cbursley346924
    I like how you attack someone for placing this band in a genre, then come back and say they are screamo. By the way, they aren't even screamo. They are Pop Punk
    I wasnt attacking him about that. HE placed the genre in himself, you'd just imagine that someone would grow three brain cells and think, "an album that I just put in a screamo genre has screaming?!?! NO WAY!" duh.
    METSOAD
    why are they pop punk? that is reserved for people like Green Day or Fallout Boy
    SGxMastodonxSG
    cbursley346924 wrote: Oh god..is someone else gonna start complaining about what genre someone is in? Blah, this is metalcore, this is hardcore, emo, scream, wahh wahh, everything must be catagorized. Can't you guys just enjoy musicianship? Either way, I dont care much for this review. I think it's a little wrong that someone who is listening to a SCREAMo album has a problem with the screaming. I think its a fantastic album.
    I like how you attack someone for placing this band in a genre, then come back and say they are screamo. By the way, they aren't even screamo. They are Pop Punk
    Rize
    I don't like the "screamo" genre, but I do appreciate metal. If a band like this didn't sing at all, then I would like it. But of course, that would change the genre. I only heard one minute of material by this band, and it didn't sound half-assed, but I will never step down to a lighter material of the rock genre. Death metal all the way!
    wearethesound
    bad review. don'T ever talk about a static lullaby again. you don't deserve attention. Make your own cd if you're better than them. this cd kicks asses. yours first.
    cbursley346924
    Oh god..is someone else gonna start complaining about what genre someone is in? Blah, this is metalcore, this is hardcore, emo, scream, wahh wahh, everything must be catagorized. Can't you guys just enjoy musicianship? Either way, I dont care much for this review. I think it's a little wrong that someone who is listening to a SCREAM o album has a problem with the screaming. I think its a fantastic album.