Days Like These


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This New Jersey-based sextet released its debut album in early 2004 and was promptly given a slot on the 2004 Vans Warped Tour. Inventure, the group's sophomore album, was recorded with producers Angus Cooke (Ataris, the Snake the Cross the Crown) and Nick Rucker (Yellowcard, Plain White T's). So it must be some disconnect in this reviewer's over-35 aural synapses that makes the word Journey keep coming to mind as he listens to this album. The thing is, it's not mainly the music, which is attractive enough even though its melodic bombast really does have more than a whiff of the late-'70s to it -- the biggest problem is the lyrical clich├ęs, which pile up relentlessly: you gotta keep it locked inside because it's got him on his knees and the hair on his neck is standing so tall but he'll speak out for what he believes and it's time to take what's yours because he's on his knees (again) and, by the way, don't forget to follow your heart but never mind because (insert Steve Perry voice here) it's too lay-ee-ay-ee-ate. Sometimes the music itself is powerful enough to compensate; "Somehow Saturn" and "Caution" (with its very fine horn chart) both work really quite well. But the recurring mental images of a big-haired Neal Schon are likely to keep you lurching for the stop button. On the other hand, maybe that's only true if you're over 35.

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