The SmashUp

Being and Becoming

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The lines between punk-pop and emo bands continues to get very blurry, and bands like New York City's the Smashup couldn't care less. On the quartet's full-length debut, 2005's Being and Becoming, singsongy choruses alternate with screamed vocal bits and guitar riffs custom-made for a hot afternoon at the Warped Tour. The group's ability to appeal to both styles is reinforced when you consider the bands they've opened for thus far -- Coheed & Cambria, Eighteen Visions, and the Used. Singer Watt White was previously employed by several companies to sing and appear in TV commercials. And his talent to "adapt" vocally is proven throughout Being and Becoming, as his vocals are a carbon copy of the modern-day, chart-topping punk-pop acts. You can close your eyes and just picture a field full of Hot Topic-attired youth jumping up and down in time to such anthemic ditties as "Never Going to Kill Us," "The Beating of Your Life," and "They Were There." And expectedly, you also get a few mellow tracks that will hopefully cross over to the big radio stations ("Dreams," "Murder to the Mattress," etc.). The youngins are sure to love it.

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