YouInSeries- Outside We Are Fine
Record Label: Equal Vision Records
Release Date: May 30, 2006
Oh, the keen ear of the bitter critic can be so misleading. I say this in allusion to the numerous rumors across the internet claiming that Las Vegas indie group YouInSeries are but a blatant and inferior rip-off of their Equal Vision brethren Circa Survive. I felt such unappealing attributes should be addressed before reviewing the band's lone release, given the subjectivity that can arise in a listener when told of an illegitimacy in a band's music. Yes, I'll agree that lead man Kyle Lobeck's vocal tones on Outside We Are Fine are very similar to those of Anthony Green, and the songs' indie style of sporadic hooks and lack of general cohesiveness within the choruses are also somewhat traceable to the Circa blueprints. But the tone, delivery, and lyrical style of the album cause the final product to deviate from what I would call rip-off material. I find myself torn when speaking of Outside We Are Fine and my opinion of it due to a unique stance I've built: the key music elements are very respectable, but the lack of hooks and general melodic appeal deny a chance for a heavy reviewer tilt.
The first track "The Watcher" immediately grabs the listener with an attractive but slightly misleading, made-for-video stature. With the song being the album's only single, it is correspondingly the only song that has any kind of real pop appeal. Despite this, in being the opening track it still serves as a relative precursor to its following tracks as it hosts violent breakdowns and brilliant bass lines that frequently reappear throughout the next nine songs. It is followed by one of the weaker installments on the list, "See Not What You Want, But Who You Really Are," which, though engrained with the album's steadiest song structure and chorus format, leaves the listener bored and wishing for a sojourn from the dry chorus. The next three tracks display a universal sense of tranquility that will, depending on the inclination of the listener, either mesmerize or bore. I personally am thoroughly convinced that the trio is, far and away, the strongest string of songs on the album.
It's sad to say the next five tracks, apart from the seventh "Get Comfortable Not Knowing," stray a bit as each fails to withhold any distinguishable qualities that convince one not to frequent the skip button when nearing their track listing spot. Though the latter portion of the album isn't especially impressive, the final track does its part to make up for the dearth. "Often Too Much Thomas Kincade" is without doubt the album's most dynamic track, both vocally and instrumentally, as Lobeck's vocals range from a soft crooning to the ecstatic screaming that develops in the song's waning moments.
In retrospect, both to the album and to the review, I still cannot grasp a firm conception about how Outside We Are Fine ranks among the other products of the indie/post genre. I currently grade it, with mentionable margins, on a sliding scale of 76%-85%, depending soly on the music listener's musical preferences and the habitual tendencies of the ever-present mood swings, since this is in all consideration a very mood-dependent album. What I can say, however, is YouInSeries screams potential with their first release, Outside We Are Fine. They will no doubt be a group to keep an eye on in the coming years.
Recommended if You Like: Thursday, Circa Survive, Chiodos
Nice review. Most user reviewers who try to use such extensive vocabulary end up sounding very forced, but your writing flows well. And you had a great analysis of the music itself. It mirrored my thoughts pretty closely, although your criticism of the album seems to be a lot more harsh than the score would suggest.
Haha, I think the most predominant word that you used (that would apply to a circumstance you described) is the term "try." The way I write is habitual and is seen in any form of written expression that I put down.
And it was a tough album to review simply based on the reasoning I stated: I can't seem to get into it unless the mood is right.
These guys are a whole lot better live. Good review for a decent CD. I saw these guys live w/ FBTMOF and they were really fun. The lead singer had just turned 21 and afterwards they took people to a strip club - fun as hell.