October 2, 2000
NEW END ORIGINAL [I]THRILLER[/I] REVIEW
In life you often get what you pay for; so when you combine Jonah Matranga of Far and One Line Drawing, Norm Arenas and Scott Winegard of Texas Is The Reason, and Charlie Walker of Chamberlain you can expect a band whose sound is firmly rooted in alterna/indie/emo rock. New End Original is neither new nor original and this record is far from a Thriller, however it does offer a nice trip down memory lane for anyone who was a fan of Revelation Records or Doghouse in the mid to late nineties. For instance, “Lukewarm” sounds like Gameface, “14-41” sounds like Sensefield, “Titanic” sounds like Texas Is The Reason, and so on. Things bottom out on “Leper Song” and “The Name”, but for the most part the record gives what you should expect. Unfortunately the band never takes chances, never tries to take the road less traveled on, too often relying on sure fire methods of song writing.
Jonah mostly sings about the trappings of mid-twenties, how he never “wants to say his best days are behind him” nor does he want to own an SUV and live in the suburbs. However, the musically and vocally this is too quaint invoking images of a college campus on a fall day, failing to stir up the emotional instability he’s signing about. And while this band has mastered the loud/quite dynamic and can come up with a decent melody, they are the rock equivalent of white bread. Six or seven years ago this may have sounded great, but now it’s like meeting up with an ex, comforting for a while, but there is a reason you’ve moved on.
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