Logan Square is yet another band to add to the list of Windy City pop-punk upstarts of the 2000s. Their hometown is both a blessing (notable show opportunities and record label attention) and a curse ("wait, Logan what? Did Pete Wentz discover them too?"). Consequently -- and despite indie label attention to the contrary -- bands from the Midwest hotbed need to really up the ante to make their faces shine above the rest and enable them to remain relevant longer than one or two albums. Unfortunately, while Pessimism & Satire is a competent enough debut -- it rocks and emotes in all the right places -- it's not one that exactly separates the emo quartet all that much from their contemporaries. Leaning more to the darker side of pop-punk (not quite Alkaline Trio territory, but far from being sugarcoated), the guys bear a certain resemblance to bands like the Ataris and Chicago peers Plain White T's. Though nods to both bands are littered throughout the album, the latter comparison is especially apparent in the vocal delivery and guitars on tracks like "Fire and Kerosene" and "I Wish You Hell." Album highlights come in the form of the swaying rhythms on "Alley Cat," the punchy "Is This How You Feel?," and summery chorus of "I'll Get There." Most of the album is about relationships gone sour, but none of the band's lyrics is especially memorable outside of typical diary angst and bitterness. Then again, the catchy and piano-tinged "When I Find You" owns some pretty disturbing imagery with lyrics such as "I'll slit your throat with a dull knife/I'll put my hand on the wound so you won't die too soon/And I'll put my knee on your chest and squeeze out your final breath/I'll look deep in your eyes so you know just who did this to you." Yeesh. Simply put, Pessimism & Satire is nothing that anyone with a penchant for pop-punk hasn't already heard a bazillion times before. But the formula is at least rehashed capably enough that Logan Square offers an entertaining listen.
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AllMusic Review by Corey Apar