Sound — 7
Just Surrender... Where to start when it comes to the now 3 Piece rock band from New York City. The thing about Just surrender is you either like them or you don't. And if you like them then you like them a lot. It's impossible to enjoy JS without becoming a hardcore fan. Just Surrender transfered to Broken English records with a few line-up cahnges since their debut LP, If These Streets Could Talk. Their new CD We're In Like Sin takes the listener to a much darker side of Just Surrender. Gone are the upbeat emo-esque songs about self infliction, loss of a relationship, and purposeful attacks at the perpetrators of their pain. No matter how dark the songs lyrics, the way the band presented themselves always led to a good listen, and catchy choruses that can never leave the listeners head. The basic premise of We're In Like Sin is basic human desire. Sex. Every song on this CD involves one night stands, partying, and lust. This is presented in a very dark way however. This album is basically split into two, songs like "If I wanted to Cuddle", and "We're In Like Sin" are brought about on the spiteful sex driven immature rock songs. The better half, including "Your Life and Mine," "So Close so alive", and "Something I'm Not", bring us back to the earlier days involving love and loss.
Lyrics — 9
Just Surrender has always been known for their trading off vocals of two lead singers with very different voices. This is a little less apparant in this CD. For the most part each singer has their own songs with very different sounds, almost as if two different bands. When they come together Just Surrender's talent really flourishes. The lyrics all driven by lust shine on songs such as the ballad about a one night stand "Your Life and Mine" where singer Dan Simmons "With the face of an Angel girl/ you deserve to be treated more then right." Then he continues to talk about the one night stand, and completely contradicts himself. "I'll Be Here" is a beautiful ballad about the lives of people and the loss of hope in current day society, a new subject for Just Surrender. The band really shines in a song called "Something That I'm Not". This song involves some fancy drum work, dazzling piano, and a really cool guitar solo. The vocals are traded off between singers with a chorus sung by Dan screaming "I can slowly feel you changing me/ into something that I'm not." Then Jason continues to sing in the second verse "If you can't see me standing here, love, then you're blind." Payback is another great song sung entirely by Jason that never changes it's beat and continues on a slow, laid back quiet song. To travel to the darker side Just Surrender drops an F bomb in the song I Said It Before, about a spiteful friendship, as Dan yells "You turned your back on all the friends that you made! yeah you could never be a f--k friend anyway." "So Close/So Alive" is the last great stand out about straight up love where both singers have equal mic time and even a female voice is brougt into the loop.
Overall Impression — 8
All in all this CD would be great for a stand alone CD, but when compared to If These Streets Could Talk, JS has taken a turn for the worse. Songs such as "She Broke My Heart, So I Broke His Jaw" are gone, leading to very mild screaming and a genre transition for the NY rock band. The thing that I believe to be amiss about this album is the fact that my favorite track is the hidden track of In Your Silence (acoustic) which is a song brought from If These Streets Could Talk. It's not a good sign when the best song on the album is from the other album. I love that Just Surrender is branching out and trying new things. They really don't seem to care what the censors or public at large will think about their risque lyrics, and in my opinion seem to be following in the tracks of great rock bands such as Motley Crue. The problem is they are forgetting too much of where they came from and the spark that came from If These Streets Could Talk is slowly going out. The good news is Just Surrender is going to be around for a very long time, and in that time will grow into what I believe will be one of the best screamo/progressive/hardcore/alternative (basically ever genre) rock band of our time.