Sound — 8
I purchased this record about three years ago, knowing nothing about this band other than the fact that they played "rock" music. The pre-knife-fight schoolgirls on the cover swayed me towards spending my 15 bucks on this album. It was interesting. I thought the same thing when I popped it in my CD player the next day and listened to the opening of ".44 Caliber Love Letter". I could definitely say that this was my gateway into heavy music. Everything from the dual singing/screaming attack by George and Dallas, to the amazing harmonies between Dallas and Wade, to the driving drum beats from ex-drummer Jesse caught my ear from the beginning. Notable guitar parts are the beginning riffs to ".44 Caliber Love Letter", "Counterparts and Number Them", "A Dagger Through The Heart Of St. Angeles", "Where No One Knows" and the interludes in "Pulmonary Archery" and "Polaroids Of Polar Bears". Some notable songs with dual vocals are "Little Girls Pointing And Laughing" and "The Kennedy Curse".
Lyrics — 7
I'm sure that the lyrics on this album are mainly excerpts from George Pettit's life turned into a story. In that sense, the lyrics aren't very impressive to me, as I cannot relate to them, or figure them out without a moderate amount of thought. There is one track tha stood out lyric-wise though, the track "A Dagger Through The Heart Of St. Angeles". The lyrics tell a story about 'love' and 'freedom' getting into a fight, and love stabbing freedom. The song is actually what inspired the cover. Anyway, George sounds great on the album, and he sounds just as good live. His stamina is great, and he never seems to die out. Dallas has a great voice, while it way be a little whiny at times, it's definitely listenable. Wade sings a tiny bit, but not enoguh to judge his singing quality on though. I'd give the lyrics a 6, and the singing skills an 8.
Overall Impression — 9
The overall impression is two words: Amazing Debut. In comparison to all the other post-hardcore bands out there now, I'd have to say that they are one of the more innovative ones out there. In comparison to their other albums, it surpasses them both. The most impressive songs, in my opinion are, "Little Girls Pointing And Laughing", "The Kennedy Curse", "Polaroids Of Polar Bears" and "A Dagger Through." They're all very impressive though, I can't say I dislike any song on the album. The thing I love most about this album is the harmonies between singers and guitarists, and the thing I hate most are the lyrics, even though they aren't half-bad. If it were stolen or lost, I would definitely buy this again. It's a staple in my collection.