Giants from the Stereo

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The full-length debut by Detroit indie rockers Crackjaw is, like many third-wave emo bands, pleasant but inconsequential. The band's press kit and Myspace page claim influences ranging from Mötley Crüe to Rush, but in point of fact, the young quartet sound pretty much exactly like any number of other faceless emo bands that have followed Jimmy Eat World and the Get Up Kids into existence. There are a couple of nice tunes on Giants From the Stereo, particularly the first single "The King's Inn," which makes good use of start-stop dynamics and has the album's most memorable chorus. Overall, however, the album's best feature is the sleeve, which combines a great vintage typeface, a Jasper Johns-meets-circus-poster design feel, and a smokin' hot picture of the young Liz Taylor. That level of inspiration, sadly, isn't found in the music itself.

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