Along Came A Spider - If We Were Normal Men (2012)

In early 2011, I came across a band by the name of Along Came A Spider. Upon seeing the band's name and the track titles on their EP entitled After The Silence, I had my fair share of doubts. However, as soon as the music started, I was impressed. I don't know what it was that kept making me come back for repeated listens, but I racked up quite a play count on the EP in iTunes. Instrumentally, the EP was nothing groundbreaking and the same goes for the vocals, but everything was just a notch above average. Fast-forward nearly two years and the band has recently signed to Standby Records. Their debut full-length, If We Were Normal Men, is set to be released on October 30th.

Within a few seconds of my first playthrough of If We Were Normal Men, I had a feeling that the band had changed their style. The new sound is much more post-hardcore driven. The clean vocals have remained extremely catchy, but the screams seem to have taken a small step back. Instrumentally, Along Came A Spider has slightly progressed and added in some more technicality in their riffing and drumming. Tracks like "Those Were The Droids You Were Looking For" and "A Day In The Life Of A Ginger" display the aforementioned progression quite nicely. Another track that is noteworthy is the very peaceful interlude entitled "Everybody Gets One". The instrumentation is still nothing to write home about, but it's improving with each release.

Now, on to the parts that I'm not too fond of. First and foremost, the production on this album seems very shoddy, especially in comparison to After The Silence which was produced and mixed well. All of the instruments on If We Were Normal Men sound a bit grainy, and the drums and guitars aren't nearly as hard-hitting and crisp as they could be. Second, the synth is extremely overbearing at times, in particular, the intro of "Blood, Sweat, And Member Changes". The final thing that I was a bit disappointed in was the re-recorded version of "The Overdose On Tylenol", now "Relapse On Tylenol". The new version is much weaker than the previous for a few reasons; the vocals aren't as strong, the solo seems a tad sloppy, and there is too much going on (synth has been added to a few parts).

Very few of the songs heard on If We Were Normal Men really stand out and pull me in, but on the other hand, there aren't many skip-worthy tracks. All-in-all, If We Were Normal Men is a solid release but it's a slight drop off from the band's previous release. It takes a few listens to sink in, but this is what Along Came A Spider has become and there is nothing wrong with change.

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By Steven Pongrac ~ Me Gusta Reviews



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