Sound — 8
This has to be one of the weirdest bands on the planet. Not only is this album considerably different from their original EP, it is not even nearly as good. Odd way to open, yes, but it's important you understand the obscurity attached to Yourcodenameis: Milo. The opening track is relatively reminiscent of their earlier work with it's drawn out vocal style and peculiar rhythmical patterns, but it's chorus that has an almost scary feel to it, as if it were recorded in a haunted mansion in Transalvania. Maybe this is so due to it's eerie backing vocals, or maybe it was actually recorded in a haunted mansion. What makes it even more off the wall is how beautiful and emotional the following song is. It is quite possibly one of my favorite songs of all time, it's just wonderful. Unfortunately, this feeling doesn't arise again until the last epic song of eleven minutes and twenty two seconds concludes in all emotional glory. The period in between is no doubt good music, but it's only good, just good. Schteeve, they obviously retained their outrageous song titles, is a step above the rest, excluding the ones I have just mentioned, of course, as is Yesterday's Head and Rapt. Dept. What sets this album apart from their previous effort is how much more Indie and Pop it sounds. It has lost an element of darkness and has, seemingly, grown from the likes of The Beatles, Weezer and The Smashing Pumpkins (their softer work) instead of Nirvana and more evil, darker bands. This is not necessarily an arrant thing, but is alarming as I love underground dark music. Nonetheless, if you are looking for a Biffy Clyro, Interpol, Radiohead, Oceansize styled album, this is well worth a look at. Particularly if you are fan of Oceansize and their epic songs with odd timing structures and offbeat rhythms. The guitar work, drum musicianship are all of high standards, particularly the drumming, he is a really tight drummer with surprisingly difficult tom roles and foot-snare combinations. Although you will not find anything new in terms of guitar work, this five piece band with three guitarists, is sure to entice you with some elicit and soulful tunes, whatever your preference of music is and where it lays it's head at night.
Lyrics — 8
Lyrically they are very competent and are able to conjure up some interesting, ambiguous and intriguing lyrics. There isn't a lot one can say in this regard, even though lyrics are usually very important to me. I can be very particular with my criticism of the penmanship of a sleeve, but this just seems to sit quite neatly in amongst the musical backdrop. Moving on to the vocal styles quickly, there is certainly more to say. His singing abilities have evolved quite drastically and they are not as rough around the edges as they used to be. In a way, I preferred the older style as it felt more real and ethical. It was gritty and dirty, while this new option, although it still retained a very coarse appearance, it doesn't have as much depth and honesty to it. it's far from processed sounding, but it does lack a certain quality of that I just mentioned, and that of the EP, All Roads Lead to Fault, they released back in 2004. What I do love about this guys vocals is how it slowly and steadily starts to break as the songs progress. He doesn't center his vocals on singing all the time, and neither does he center it on screaming, he just lets both happen in a natural and catchy way. The vocals are a little more prominent in this as well compared to their older effort. That's to say, everything is all very steady in the mix, nothing is overly loud or important. That is something this band is lacking: focus. Their vocal styles and musical influences seem to be very unfocused and meandering. It's like they are not quite sure what they want to sound like and are therefore just experimenting. it's seems affable in theory, but they don't assuredly pull it off. They are a band constantly facing an identity crises in my eyes.
Overall Impression — 8
Apart from the middle ground of this album, which should contain other beauties such as 17 and Rapt. Dept. but doesn't, there is nothing really I can grab onto and fling around in both disgust and ecstasy. I availed of this sense or feeling that the majority of the songs are just pictured in their to bulk up the album, and it certainly does bulk up the album in variety and proficiency, but it still feels like filler, ever so slightly. I know it took their previous album a long time to grow on me, but I have listened to this many times through now and my opinion still remains strong and firm. Fiverfour, Yesterday's Head, and The General, are all original and refined but they are not worthy of five star ratings in my eyes. 2-Stone is a corker of a song with heavy screaming vocals that shatter your ear drums and is well worth a note. Overall, if you are looking for both an album that contains dark, not as dark as their previous outing, disturbing and otherworldly themes, odd structures, almost inane guitar work and vocals, then you will be pleased with this. From the insane ending to The General to the soft build up in Audition, there is enough here to wet anyones appetite and you will be most likely wetting your lips and lapping up all the sugary goodness for weeks to come. And also if you are looking for an Alternative Rock record similar to the likes of Incubus, Fall of Troy, Circa Survive and At The Drive In, then you won't be let down in any way. I know this wasn't as excellent as their EP, but it still rocked me pretty damn hard and it still preserved some it's dark atmosphere that made this band something to look out for and to envy with delight.