The Audition

Controversy Loves Company

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The Audition make all the right moves on Controversy Loves Company, their Victory debut. Danny Stevens sings songs like "You've Made Us Conscious" and "The Ultimate Cover Up" from the threshold between indignation and having a good cry, the young quintet's songs are compact dynamos of emo urgency, and every single triumphant break or righteous gang vocal moment can be anticipated at least a measure before it arrives. And it always arrives. Because like hundreds (thousands?) of their savvy peers starting bands in a generation raised on Warped Tours, the Audition know every inch of the template. A propulsive beat, vaguely meaningful lyrics ("Why can't you accept the fact that I'm only as loyal as my options?"), hyper guitars, and those pleading vocals -- with the right production and enough MySpace friends, the future can be pretty bright. Just ask Fall Out Boy. There needs to be some identity to the sound, though, and there's very little of that on Controversy Loves Company. It's strikingly similar from song to song, with an overuse of double-tracked vocals and stop-start guitars that's nearly criminal. There might be pockets of kids at the all-ages shows who can differentiate the Audition's sound from that of the Academy Is..., Hidden in Plain View, or Victory Records' own Bayside, to name just a few examples. But the differences between these groups are negligible, down to a keyboard added or harder guitar chord taken away. Controversy Loves Company could actually use some controversy, anything to lessen the Audition's emo homogeny.

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