A horrible hack

Rydell - San Geronimo - A Rocket Sent to You

split

Year Released: 2002
Format: CD
Label: Ignition
 
Reviewed by Andy Malcolm on Jun 13, 2007
Well, I wouldn't normally take this one on for review but our regular emo-pop reviewer Mike Whelan has just moved house and doesn't have much internet access. So I am gonna do it. Sorry.

Fracture forum favourites and arch spammers Rydell are first up. They are playing catchy and melodic emo-pop that borrows heavily from bands such as Braid and the Promise Ring. Bood-di-boop. The vocals aren't really sung, just sort of talked and shouted at times. This is very plain, there isn't really any particular reason for these songs to exist as 'Frame and Canvas' and 'Nothing Feels Good' were released about 5 years ago and contain actual songs that are fun to listen to. Luke Younger told me he regularly listens to these guys in his bedroom whilst kind of shuffling around from foot to foot and singing into a hairbrush. Rydell have been around for about 90 years so are highly competent at playing their instruments, it's very tight and they don't fuck up but the same applies to a pub rock band that plays Kinks covers. I expect you will probably like it if you like stuff that isn't very interesting, or if you like Rydell. Same difference these days. They were better when they sounded like Tomorrow. Anyways, I am sure Rydell don't mind my childish criticism, they get enough of it from other people too, so likely have thick skins. Rock on Rydell, apart from on my stereo, thanks.

San Geronimo is next. Who screwed up here, they are several notches of volume lower. That wasn't clever. Anyway, within about 10 seconds of listening i have decided that they sound like "Four Minute Mile" era Get Up Kids, just with slightly different vocals. Also they sound like Rydell. Now there's a recommendation for you. They have fast guitars and the singing is too calculated for a buffoon like me. They have ex-members of Lifetime and Jets to Brazil apparently. What the fuck? This just makes me want to put on "Jerseys Best Dancers" and hear an exciting record, not this middle of the road schlock. Once again, it is tight and well played and I recommend it to fans of Rydell / boring rock music.

Well I wasn't about to get excited about a band called 'A Rocket Sent To You', who get 4 songs. Their opening guitar riffs confirms to me that I was right to not be excited. It's that sort of Creed / Foo Fighters style rock but with extra melody and a style of vocals that endear them to folks who like this style of music. Once upon a time I christened this sort of thing whine-rock, which remains apt. Does Deep Elm still pack it's Emo Diaries comps with stuff like this? I imagine that it does. So if you like those comps, you will be into this band, and probably this CD as a whole. The "ooh-ooh" vocals on the otherwise nice American-Footbally last track makes me cringe. Once again this band is catchy and they don't make mistakes. Congratulations, you've won a prize.

I am sure that out there, somewhere, there are bands that play this sort of thing in an invigorating fashion. A style that would make me clap my hands and say "well done, you are great!". Unfortunately, none of these bands make me do that. I was listening to records that sounded exactly like this in 1998. Exactly, like a replica. This music gives me deja vu. This music gives me deja vu. I know I listen to a lot of records that sound exactly like music from 1994, but, frankly, do I look like I give a fuck? The slightly eery thought is that maybe these bands are at the top of their genre. Surely not? For emo-pop's sake, I hope that is wrong.

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