Facing New York - Get Hot
Taking Back Sunday is a blackhole of potential. Not negatively, they take something from us and hold it down temporarily and then it escapes. Until now, now, it's getting held down. They stole from the greatness that is Facing New York but, somehow this three piece has recoved. I was doubtful at first. Having fallen for the craft they had covered with stellar tracks like "Styrofoam Walls," I thought that a loss would hurt this beauty.
However, Get Hot leaves me feeling okay. I'm not going to say this album is wildly impressive or is groundbreaking, but it's not what you would have expected out of them. This is not the sound "Styrofoam Walls" leads you to believe Facing New York. This is not the band that played the amazing "Full Turn." It's definitely a switch and it's bit more experimental and for the most part, it's definitely hit or miss.
"Cops On Bikes" opens the album and Eric Frederic is singing about Reno 9/11 cops in Berkeley or something. I can't really follow the subject manner, the lyrics don't really read as clever as he wants them to be. But then the drums just like pick up and there comes the keys and all the sudden this dull song with dull lyrics becomes this little toe-tapper you'd listen to on your headphones whilst you wear a suit. It's interesting. It's vague. It's sophisticated.
"Get Hot," the short title track, is a poppy little segue track that is just really dance-y and then comes "All A This." The claps becomes drums and it's a very nifty track. But "Comin Up" falls flatter than Flat Stanley and so do numerous other tracks. "Hardwood Floors" stands out as another kind of beatnik jam but really, the rest of the album is really hit or miss. "Gesture" is boring and "Man Up" is simply weak. Towards the end, it just seems like they were trying to overdo the artsy thing and when it ends, you are relieved. And disappointed, why would you do this to me?
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on 2009-03-19 Satisfactosaurus Said:
The first thing to realize about this album is that this is a completely different Facing New York. After losing two members between the self titled and this newest effort, relating this album to it's predecessor is like relating HEALTH to Phish, nothing could be more different. That being said, It actually leaves me with a more satisfied feeling than the self titled. It's a very barebones and stripped down way to look at the groove that Facing New York has always had, and they come out looking better because of it.
Where the five piece created dense and elaborate songs that were fairly vanilla post rock, Get Hot really trades sheer density for improved songwriting. Omar Cuellar's drumming really takes a control on this album, the entirety of which is driven by extremely tasteful playing, especially on tracks like "Cops on Bikes" and "Man Up". The whole effort is calmed down and quite a bit more soulful than the band has ever been, and the performance is locked down tight.
And yes, if you're expecting an album drenched in rhythmic delay that takes itself ultra-seriously, than yeah, you might be disappointed. For me? That talentless pit that is Taking back Sunday can keep Matt. This new Facing New York is a more creative, soulful animal.