One Way Letter

Where Everybody Knows Your Name

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While they have an album title that reeks of pop culture touchstones, on Where Everybody Knows Your Name One Way Letter show that they are a fine and promising alt-rock or indie band led by the strong timbre of Selena Langley, which comes off like Geddy Lee in control of his pipes. The opener, "The Damage," ebbs between soft and hard "emo" rock with a fine chorus, resembling Evanescence in some respects but with a greater musical ear. However, the ensuing neo-waltz, "Her Voice Was Full of Money," is much of the same song, just with a few tweaks here and there and strong drumming by Craig Goldberg. They go down a different road with better than expected results for a larger-than-life "Alone in My Principles," which seems destined for the Warped Tour. Meanwhile they hit their stride with the power punk of "Hospitals Aren't So Hospitable," which instantly recalls contemporaries such as Taking Back Sunday with its change of gears throughout. The same can be said for the big brawn sound oozing out of "I'm a Great Misogynist," which deals with physical abuse. The longer the album goes, the more one thinks that Langley was influenced greatly by lyricists like Natalie Merchant, Linda Perry, and Billie Myers. But there are real rock gems here, including a stellar, no-nonsense rave-up called "Counselor of the Left Handed Boys Camp." "Theme Songs" and the closing "…And the Survey Says" aren't too shabby either. Where Everybody Knows Your Name is a powerful piece of emo that would be almost tragic to ignore if not appreciate.

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