The Scene Aesthetic – The Scene Aesthetic
Record Label: dW Records
Release Date: July 10th, 2007
From first glace, The Scene Aesthetic’s story follows with ease: Two friends start writing music together, target girlfriends/girls as inspiration, and swindle Myspace as their promotional bitch. The band alternates between acoustic lovin’ and electric lovin’ on their newest self-titled full-length but both lines of attack eminent a like front-shelf puppy-love. Most of the tracks are remastered from the band’s debut, Building Homes From What We’ve Known, with the exception of three new numbers – “Don’t Be That Note I Can’t Hold,” “To The Steadfast” and “Heavy Lies The Crown.” For areas of The Scene Aesthetic, the heart-on-sleeve poetry is good company. For other areas of The Scene Aesthetic, the heart-on-sleeve poetry makes me cringe like a Precious Moments catalog. There are only so many serenades and candlelit dinners I can sit through before I start getting restless, and that’s where I stand with the sophomore release as a whole.
But dueling singers Eric Bowley and Andrew de Torres are more interesting than that. Smoky-breathed Bowley is serving his religious duties on a LDS mission and nasally sharp de Torres is playing on with his funkbox dance pop group Danger:Radio. When both are working with TSA, their chemistry is a sure thing. A symbiotic relationship, Bowley and de Torres both put out and it wouldn’t be as saccharine with just one crooner. On “Heavy Lies The Crown” and the closer “Beauty In The Breakdown (Acoustic)” – the first song the band ever wrote - the two trade off the microphone duties, occasionally intertwining for a double-team move. The Scene Aesthetic plays into this partner-in-crime technique all throughout, and it gives the album an extra tier of muscle.
These sturdy two-part vocals do all they can to make up for the album instrumentally, which feels very generic and predictable on both the acoustic and not acoustic tracks. There are times where this works for TSA, like on the handclap, harmonica, and twanging arrangements of “To The Steadfast” or the upbeat “So Peter, You’ve Become A Pirate,” but this rests a lot of responsibility of Bowley and de Torres. This wouldn’t be such a huge problem if their music wasn’t so polite and their lyrics weren’t so vague. So let’s be honest here: The Scene Asethetic is cute and so are the songs the band recorded/remastered. That’s what they are good at. Just so there are no surprises, expect romance at every corner, every bridge, and every endearing alt-country pop melody of The Scene Asethetic. Would you eat an entire bag of Jolly Ranchers if you didn’t like sweets?
P.S. Aesthetic is a difficult word to spell. Just wanted to put that out there.
I really was in to these guys a few years ago and I have the debut album so i don't really see the point in me buying this one. For me, if they did an EP with all new songs that would be worth it.
wow i had no idea this cd existed. i looooved "the alamo is no place for dancing" and "beauty in the breakdown" but the rest of their old cd bothered me, i think mostly because of the production quality and it's impact on the already whiny vocals. i definitely want to hear the remastered versions, though.