Alternate Ending-The Mountain Lion EP
Record Label: BDC Records
Release Date: July, 2010
New music is not hard to come by in this new technological world we live in. It's very easy for bands nowadays to record albums and release them but the staying power is the hard part. Alternate Ending's debut release, The Mountain Lion EP, seems to lay the foundation for a band they will be able to overcome the music business thrive where so many have fallen. Alternate Ending is: Lead singer Sara Robson, singer/guitarist Brian Muller, bassist Chaz Whitbourne, and drummer Jae Furiuso. These four people have come together and created a very wide range of music that proves a band can evolve not just from album to album, but the can evolve from song to song.
The fist single from the band is also the first track, "Dissolution". This song reminds me of the Tom Morello (Audioslave, Rage Against the Machine) guitar assault of the late 90's. A big riff that hits the listener in the face that only seems to plateau when the song ends. Robson, not wanting to be out done, creates a great melody that only compliments the song as a whole. The lyrics in "Dissolution" follow a clear path about watching the world change around you but not wanting to conform to the world's standards and staying true to one's heart/beliefs. The solo, even though it follows the riff, is very nicely executed and only compliments the rhythm track. The big disappointment is the songs ends and the listener is left with almost 15 seconds of dead air before going into the next track.8/10
"Grasp of Love" begins where "Dissolution" left off. Jae Furiuso begins the song with a tasteful drum fill and that's where the guitars come in. A very nice opening riff and an acoustic guitar playing a second part on the verse makes the musical aspect of the song very appealing to many. The lyrics seem a lot less thought out and seem to be pieced together without much care. The stand out part of the song is where the band breaks the alternative rock style they are playing and begin playing an almost jazz part. The drums really stand out and are the glue that holds this part together. The bass, even though very inventive, are too distorted to really enjoy.7.2/10
"Untitled Love Song" sees Muller and Robson sing together; with an awkward result. "Untitled Love Song" is a punk ballad. Fast, heavy, palm muted guitars make up the verse where Brian Muller sings about loving a girl and comparing their love to Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen. Muller's vocal by itself lets the listener feel the emotion of the lyrics even though the pitch/notes are sometimes off. When Sara Robson joins in on the pre-chorus and chorus, the feeling is replaced with almost perfect pitch. I would rather have the soul than the perfect voice. The song leaves something to be missed but is a good attempt at crossing The Sex Pistols and 80's hair band ballads.7.5/10
"The Interlude", which is the weakest song of the album, sees Alternate Ending try their hands at Pink Floyd but the production is too weak to make it a compelling song. If this album was a sports game, this song would be my bathroom break. The vocals are transparent, the guitars are too loud and the bass is barley heard. This song sounds like something Sid Barret wrote last week; mind you he's been dead for years.3.5/10
If anyone likes country/folk, "Heroes" is a song for you. Brian Muller takes the verses and Sara Robson sings the choruses. The two singers seem like they've been singing all their lives together in this song. Muller's vocals are reminiscent of Bob Dylan or Johnny Cash in their later years, while Robson gives a Christina Aguilera performance (much like her Back to Basics song "Candyman"). The song talks about growing up without a hero and gives social commentary on how children nowadays have no one to look up to.7/10
In "Hey You", Brian Muller tries his hands at breaking down the dam and playing straight punk rock like The Sex Pistols or The Ramones. Sounding like a mix of John Lydon from the Sex Pistols and Lemmy from Motorhead, Muller sings about being an outcast in society and not caring and just living life the way he wants. Verse, chorus, verse, bridge, chorus. No solos, no over production. I think this would've been a Sex Pistols song if they stayed together.6/10
"The End" is about death and waiting to die. The band gives a sped up, almost metal-delta blues, feel to the song while Robson sings her heart out; as if her life depended on it. This song is a hit everywhere but in the solos. Muller struggles with the slide guitar while the Mixer of the album just made the solo and the bridge sound like they were recorded in a bathroom.6.8/10
The last song of The Mountain Lion EP is "Never Again" and is probably the best song to use to generalize Alternate Ending. Robson sings about losing the love of her life and how the two want to be with each other but know their love shouldn't be. Brian Muller's guitar work throughout the song is flawless; blending acoustic and electric guitars beautifully. Whitbourne and Furiuso shine as well in this song. The Travis Barker-type drumming fits this song perfectly and the bass knows exactly when to come in to fill in the space where the guitar is fading out. In the chorus, Robson sings "This isn't goodbye" like the calm, graceful part of the yin yang while Muller breaks in with " It's cya later real soon", sounding a mix of anger and pain. The bridge, even though the guitar and piano are slightly off, is a nice break before going back into a chorus and beautiful guitar solo.9/10
Alternate Ending does a good job of showing off all of their musical styles/influences and still sound like Alternate Ending. The biggest complaint is the mixing and sound quality of the record which is probably why the band is only selling the disc for $5. I, for one, am excited to see what else this band has to offer and am awaiting a new release.