Sound — 10
Simple. A hard rock outfit, with some heavier inspirations. The difference between them and other hard rock outfits? These guys work incredibly hard and pride themselves on having no two songs of theirs sound the same, and it really shows. Justin loves layering guitar leads almost over anything, but there isn't as much of that found on this album as I would have hoped. Life goes on. These guys have worked for years and they're finally on the verge of their breakthrough!
Lyrics — 10
Patrick Wilson is an absolute monster on vocals for Emphatic. He's probably what most would refer to as their "backbone". His voice makes them what they are. Incredible. Raspy yet not like any raspy we've heard yet. He puts his great voice to work, hitting quite a few ranges and even putting a bit of "twang" to 'er in "Get Paid". His best moments are found on "Put Down The Drink" when he really gets into it, and on "A Place To Fall", during the "I'm right here, it's okay" lyric. He makes it sound incredibly heartfelt.
Overall Impression — 10
01. "Do I" Where do I start with this one? A great song from beginning to end that's a pure adrenaline rush. A simple, badass riff accompanied by Patrick's voice in a couple harmonies and an AWESOME chorus. No guitar solo, but that's alright. It has an awesome interlude instead. Score: 100 02. "Get Paid" Another piece of brilliance that the boys said in Madison, "it's about having a shitty job, and just wanting to get out of it!" Features a bad-a-s c-ck rock type opening riff that breaks into a verse featuring almost a country-ish twang to the vocals. Worry not, it isn't long before they break into a chorus featuring, "I wanna get paid, be a billionaire, I wanna be rich... Hey, hey... I wanna get laid, like I just don't care, life's a bitch... Hey, hey..." Great stuff. Then Justin rockets off into the first solo of the album, and it's a beauty! Score: 97 03. "Put Down The Drink" Quite possibly my favorite song off the album, and definitely a challenger for my favorite song they've ever done. Madison really responded to this one live. Obviously about a girl who gets drunk and disasterous... Great stuff. A haunting opening with just Patrick's voice and an acoustic guitar backing: "Baby put down the drink... And baby put down the bottle... You're starting to sink... And when you're down on your knees, it's so hard to swallow". Possible double entendre there? I think so, but who knows. It's a slower song, but it's got JUST enough killer rock to it to make it a highlight. Then there's that GUITAR SOLO that Justin rips out of nowhere... Uh... AWESOME! Score: 100 04. "Bounce" The single. I've had a bit of history with this song. It used to be known as "Dirty", and I knew that it was the song they usually played last, or their BIG song. But honestly, I thought it was a bit over-rated and probably wouldn't score it over a 90. But with this... They re-recorded and re-did it. And to be honest, it sounds GREAT! Still a tad-bit over-rated, but MUCH better than it used to be. There's another solo as well (#3). Score: 92 05. "A Place To Fall" I love this song. It's another slow one, and the chorus sounds familiar in RHYTHM, but I can't put my finger on where I've heard something similar to it before. Either way, it's great, "If you need a place to fall, when it all comes crashing down... A place to fall, and you need it right now... You can't stop the show... You can let yourself let go... I'm right here, it's okay... To breathe... Fall into me!" I love the little moment when Patrick wails, "I'm right here, it's okay!" Something about it sounds entirely heart-felt. Awesome. Oh, and another great solo to boot (4)! Score: 95 06. "Beg" This song... Really sounds like something from a Rob Zombie showcase. When you hear it, you'll know what I'm talking about. Just listen to that intro, a haunting guitar bit played with a Zombie-like vibrato over it. Awesome. Now, expect the dirty stuff, because this is the time. A cool ass riff breaks into Patrick crooning about trying to get a girl to admit she wants it. Then the chorus... You ready? Here goes: "Every time you beg... I love it when you want me, love it when you need me... Right between your legs... Tell me that you need me, say it like you mean it... BEG!" Cool sh-t. Justin breaks into a very simple solo (5) that ALSO sounds like it came right from the Rob Zombie book of tricks. But I love it. It's something different sounding. Score: 94 07. "Tonight" I heard someone cover the demo of this song, and to be honest, I was not impressed. Overall, it didn't seem bad, but the effect that was on Patrick's voice (like a ghostly girl's voice or something) just killed it. But again, they re-recorded everything and it's a GREAT SONG! Typical-type love ballad, but it's still great. I think it's partly because of Justin's lead work over the riff. And the well written chorus: "Tonight... We could do anything... In your arms, I'll be alright... All of my life... Searching for someone... In your arms, heaven is closer... Tonight..." Well done. Another simpler solo (6), and this song is just great. Score: 91 08. "Pride" They attribute this as the most southern-rock sounding, and it is. But that's its strength. It's another different sounding song. And that's EMPHATIC's strength as a whole. No 2 songs really sound the same. Also, this song is used in a fan video as a tribute to those who lost homes and whatnot in the storms down south. Touching, really. Overall, probably the song I've listened to least so far, but it's still awesome and catchy as hell! Oh, and another cool solo (7). Score: 91 09. "Original Sin" This song is upbeat, with a fiery, blistering opening and an almost... Prog-rock sounding verse riff. Somethin' about it is cool. The chorus is catchy as shit too: "Down, down, down... Here we go again, round and round... Will it ever end? We'll find out what a mess I'm in... Heir to the throne of your... Original sin... SIN.. SIN!" No solo, but it's got another awesome breakdown section. Score: 92 10. "Don't Forget About Me" I almost figured this would be another love ballad, but it's obviously Empahtic's song to Omaha, which they have to leave behind to go on tour. Really touching lyrics and a great chorus, great breakdown, and a really simple solo (8). Probably the best choice to close the album out, really, with their goodbye to Omaha, even though they'll always return home to it. Well done boys. Score: 91 Final thoughts: It doesn't compare to any other DEBUT albums, that's for sure. It blows them all away. Quite possibly my favorite debut album from ANY BAND EVER! Be proud of yourselves, E. You're about to explode! I mean, let's face it. 8 solos between 10 songs, great vocal work, and awesome melodies are the keys to success! It just leaves me wanting more! Honestly, I'm sure they could have fit more songs on this disc, but 10 it is until their second go-round!