Four Square

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It's an odd opening to this record in that the intro sounds like it's a B-side to The Final Cut as lead singer Simon Head does he best to evoke images of Roger Waters with lines about the king losing his crown. From there it's a better than average attempt at power pop or "emo" with "Please Don't Go" as the guitars carry the song to a higher level. The song then downshifts before regaining its shimmering and sweet second wind. Four Square are highly adept at churning out catchy nuggets like the riff barrage that propels "Waste Away" although the chorus lacks the same punch. A lot of the early material has a lot in common with an early Sum 41 or Jimmy Eat World, especially on "Waste Away" and also "Another Sleepless Night." The first real gem is the urgent 4/4 time lean rocker "Less Than Something" with some great work by Head and Allan Shaw on guitar. Even when they lay back slightly, it's a gorgeous result judging by the tamer but cowbell-tinged "Life Worth Living For." The obligatory power ballad entitled "My Side" totally misses the mark however. As the album evolves, the "emo" quotient is laid aside for glistening, head-bobbing power pop surprises like "Something Left to Lose." Aside from the ballad and slower ditties, this is a promising record from a very promising, polished band. No gloss, just finely crafted goods topped off with "Everything Bright."

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