As an avid fan of pop-punk, July was a month that I have been looking forward to for a long time. Much like last year it was filled to the brim with gems from bands new and old. Last year featured veterans like Sum 41 and Yellowcard and newer artists like Mayday Parade. This year the newer bands took the stage as Thieves and Villains, The Maine and a few others are releasing records.
Iíll admit that I was a huge fan of the demos that Thieves and Villains had put up on myspace. They carried a pop-punk energy with an indie-pop attitude that seemed sure to impress many people. I had high hopes for the full length, and Thieves and Villains certainly met some of those standards. However, this record was not what I expected it to be.
The demo versions of the songs had a certain bite to them. It always felt like the lead singer really meant the words that he was pushing out. I feel that this one of things most absent on the record. In attempt to polish the songs more they covered up and even took away this aspect. The vocals feel emotionless at times, and that is something that is unacceptable in this genre.
With that said, that doesnít mean that this record is bad by any means. I feel that the drums hit harder and the guitars sound crisper. The way the drums were played and written so well on this record. I feel that they add a lot too the songs in places that most bands wouldnít have thought. The guitars on this record arenít much more than the normal pop-punk guitars. They sound good and fit well with the record but other than that they donít add much.
Overall, this record isnít what it should have been. The production is a step up from the demos at far as the instrumentation goes. Unfortunately, the vocals sound overproduced and hold the record back from what it could be. The biggest thing that this album proves to me is that this band has potential, they just need to learn how to capture it, once they do that, I have no doubt in my mind that they will take the pop-punk world by storm.