All State Champion "Is it Nothing to You" CDPosted on Wednesday, May 6th, 2009 @ 9:08am » permalink
"Is it Nothing to You" turned out to be the sole full-length from Canada's All State Champion (released by Five One Inc. back in 2003), and while I wrote about it on the old site all those years ago, I still feel it deserves more attention. Since I had pulled it out for another spin in recent weeks, I decided to go ahead and revisit it for the blog to see if I can't get a few more listeners interested in its mix of assorted emo/indie rock types of influences – especially since the album's still easy to come by. You can pick up on everything from the DC/Dischord thing to a San Diego/west coast vibe amidst all of the angular rhythms, jangly open chords, tasteful discordance, melody, and a mix of predominantly singing vocals backed with the occasional screams. The singing is great, and remains a strong point for me – straightforward and to the point with a few subtle harmonies or a little layering, which fits the music nicely. But the songwriting is also strong: Memorable and at times catchy, without utilizing any "poppy" elements or anything like that. They constantly mesh the melodic with the caustic, and it works perfectly in my opinion, never leaning too far in either direction. There's always a good blend of driving rhythms, moderate tempos, post-hardcore tinges, and frequent shifts in dynamics. Also incredibly beneficial is the fact that the recording is so natural and warm, with a stripped down sort of approach that really lets each instrument hold on to its own area of the mix with just the right amount of breathing room. Maybe it's just that I can't keep up with everything, but for my money there's been somewhat of a void for this style of high-quality "emo" (or whatever the fuck you want to call it) since the late-90's, so… this is a really enjoyable disc that I'd still wholly recommend to fans of the genre.
Long way down I've bound myself. And it's been two years but I've a way to go. And I guess that's why I'm still sinking. This time around I swear I'll swim. At least I was there when I said. Don't you know? This time around I swear I'll swim. At least I was there when I said. Don't you know?