I See Stars

3-D

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    8
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This band's debut CD has a few flaws; song titles like "I am Jack's Smirking Revenge," "Save the Cheerleader," and "The Big Bad Wolf" do them no favors, and album opener "Project Wakeup" is a rote screamo track that in no way reflects the awesomeness to follow. They should have stuck it two-thirds of the way through 3D, where no one would notice it, because almost every other song on the disc is more interesting and more appealing, even the ones with dumb titles. I See Stars have a keen melodic sense; the choruses on "Comfortably Confused" and "The Common Hours," to pick just two, are hypnotic and memorable. But it's the music on the album that catapults this band out of the pack. Their combination of seriously booming drums (that go back and forth between hard rock thunder and disco hiss-thump-hiss-thump), chiming guitars, and zapping, humming synths creates a sonic bed atop which the vocals float -- even when they're not filtered through Auto-Tune and vocoders like the band is aiming to become some bizarre combination of Thursday, Coheed and Cambria, and Daft Punk. Oh, and there's a guest appearance by Bizzy Bone (of inexplicably popular 1990s rapper/singers Bone Thugs-N-Harmony) on "Sing This!" All this genre-hopping might seem like it would just create another ungainly mess not unlike the works of 3OH!3 or Hollywood Undead, but I See Stars are talented songwriters whose youthful goofiness will likely fade by album number two, leaving behind only the hooks and lyrical skills that make 3D such a shockingly impressive, and fun, debut.

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