The Make Yourself at Home

The Starting Line

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The Make Yourself at Home Review

by John D. Luerssen

With the success of Dashboard Confessional's strum-and-mope acoustic rock, it's not surprising that the Starting Line -- a pop/punk band with obvious talent but few original ideas -- would put together an E.P. of similarly executed emo. If the group's normal 'electric guitar, bass and drums' delivery is pretty innocuous, its unplugged approach isn't groundbreaking either, but it's pretty darn appealing. The title track to Make Yourself at Home is a shimmering number that chronicles homesickness as it puts Ken Vasoli's capable pipes out in front of a resonant acoustic guitar and a clacking, programmed beat. Elsewhere, break-up songs like "Selective" and "Playing Favorites" are both accessible and lyrically despondent, as all decent emo should be. But Vasoli's wide vocal range is what catapults them to above average status. "The Night Life" breaks out of the slow-to-mid-tempo tact that prevails on this E.P., sounding downright peppy with a clopping drum keeping time that makes it easily the best of these six, well-executed tracks.

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