Social Code

He Said, She Said

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Social Code has been around in one form or another since 1999, growing their profile slowly but surely in their native Canada, but remaining virtually non-existent in the United States. The five-song He Said She Said hopes to change that, essentially acting as the band's entry into the U.S. market. Subsequently, the EP is strictly for new fans and comprised solely of recycled songs -- "Perfect Grave" and "Beautiful" come from A Year at the Movies, while the rest are featured on the band's 2007 self-titled album. Nowadays, lead singer Travis Nesbitt looks like a cross between Incubus' Brandon Boyd and Hoobastank's Doug Robb, and the band's sound is comparable enough to that mixed description, though definitely falling closer to the latter group's spit-shined hooks and modern rock accessibility. Social Code is ready for mass consumption and repeated radio spins, which would seem to be the ultimate goal. Yearning, gravelly vocals and pulsating rhythms build into explosive choruses on "Beautiful" and the invigorating title cut, and as the pair represents the EP's strongest tracks, it becomes apparent that high energy is definitely where the band shines. Guitars are used to more contemplative effect on competent yet largely unremarkable tracks like "Perfect Grave" and "Everyday Late November," and all of the songs would fit well on a playlist already containing the likes of Lostprophets, Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, and Billy Talent. They all sport a similar formula of equal parts aggression and angst with just a bit of harmless bite. It's a familiar and competent mix that's easily digestible and even pretty fun at times, so Social Code should have no trouble at least piquing the interest of American rock fans who happen upon them; keeping said interest in a sea of similar music will be the bigger challenge. But this sampler album is just leading up to an eventual full-length, and even just a few of these songs are enough to carry potential fans through the waiting period until its release -- hopefully there will then be enough on that album to help Social Code stand out enough from the rest of the rock pack.

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