Fear Before the March of Flames

Odd How People Shake

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    5
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This young four-piece from a suburb of Denver has a compelling knack for song titles -- "Go Wash Your Mouth, I Don't Know Where It's Been," "The 20th Century Was Entirely Mine" -- and they get massive points for trying to blend the sort of indie pop delicacy exemplified by the Shins with the intensity of screamo (that cutesy-named combination of emo theatricality and metal-tinged hardcore pummeling) mainstays like Converge. The combination doesn't always work, however: the pummeling passages often mesh awkwardly with the prettier interludes, as on "The Lisbon Girls Oh the Lisbon Girls," which almost sounds like two different songs being played at the same time. There's also a mildly unsettling tinge of adolescent misogyny to songs like "Girl's Got a Face Like Murder" and "On the Bright Side, She Could Choke," and the aimless, ten-minute piano noodling that ends the record is the sort of affectation that should have been excised before the final master was compiled. Fear Before the March of Flames have both potential and an excellent band name, but their debut album suggests they have a way to go yet.

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