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My Ticket Home - The Opportunity to Be Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 8.5
Musicianship 7
Lyrics 6.5
Production 9
Creativity 6.25
Lasting Value 6.75
Reviewer Tilt 8.5
Final Verdict: 75%
Member Ratings
Vocals 2.75
Musicianship 2.83
Lyrics 1.83
Production 5.42
Creativity 2.17
Lasting Value 1.17
Reviewer Tilt 2.67
Average: 27%

My Ticket Home - The Opportunity to Be

Reviewed by: Krazycev13 (11/28/10)
My Ticket Home - The Opportunity to Be
Release date: November 9, 2010
Record label:Rise Records

If you've ever heard anything about My Ticket Home, it probably hasn't been anything good. You may have heard that they're horrible live, you may have heard that their bassist can't play bass, you may have heard that they're complete douche bags. Or, as a matter of fact, you may have heard the exact opposite of all of these things. Or, you may have heard absolutely nothing. The latter is the most likely. If you HAVE ever listened to them, their first self-released EP, Above the Great City, was quite bad in my opinion. The band's quality and sound on that EP strongly discouraged me from listening to this EP, and, originally, I didn't plan to. Then I went to a friend's house, who was blaring it. I instantly wanted to move. And after that, I got an iTunes card and bought this EP before listening through it. Though this EP certainly isn't anything innovative, it was a fun listen all the way through, despite it's somewhat common flaws. A very "Rise" record, yet not as bad as some others.

The Opportunity to Be starts out with the song "Surroundings", which instantly punches you square in your face. A growl from Nick Giumenti and a heavy riff are what make up the first few seconds of the EP, and it set the tone for the album very well. That was, until it got about forty seconds in. Then it got soft out of seemingly nowhere and and we hear the first of guitarist Sean Mackowski's clean vocals. Mackowski's vocals on this album are either going to be love or hate; I don't hear much of an in between. Metalheads looking for music to kill people to, skip to the last twenty seconds for a brutal breakdown that is making me want to stand up and move right now. Overall, this is a strong opening track that is one of the heavier songs.

"Desertion" starts off slightly stronger, with very distant-sounding bass parts (courtesy of Luke Fletcher) and radio-static skipping screams (for the lack of better wording, you'd just have to listen). The song goes somewhat downhill from there, however. It has a very breakdown-y guitar pattern, without quite being a breakdown. However, the pattern drags on a bit, and feels like it would've been better played only four times rather than eight. The guitars, played by Mackowski and Eli Ford, play a nearly southern rock-sounding guitar riff under Nick Giumenti's vocals. The drums, played by Nick's brother Marshal, feel almost Blink-182 at one point, which is a horrible combination for these guys. Sean's clean vocals come in again and are slightly better, but still not the best. The track starts repeating itself fast, as the song resorts to sustained chords and tom beats, then a scream that sounds like Nick literally vomited on the microphone. Then the breakdown-y pattern is played again, and, at that, too many times. Then there is a little triplet pattern, and the song ends. Not my favorite track, to say in the least.

The next track, "Refuge In Purpose", has an intro that doesn't even seem like it belongs on the album. Including the most technical, reverb-filled drum work from Marshal so far (which, honestly, isn't saying much), the song starts off like one an indie band might do with a very soft chord progression. Getting slightly more progressive, the song suddenly goes into deep guitar chugs, and Nick comes in, seemingly out of nowhere. Then Mackowski sings again, and they fit better then any other time up to this point. The song still feels far too soft for Nick's vocals, and for that reason, the song suffers. There are some heavy parts, like a little under two minutes in, but it's mostly guitar patterns repeating themselves. Then some more chorus action with Mackowski (at this point in listening, I start getting irritated with Mackowski's constant appearance). The song ends with a "super brutal" breakdown, but despite the cheesy musicianship, Nick pumps out some really solid vocals.

Then "In Regret" comes on, with perhaps the absolute most original guitar work on the EP. The patterns and chords, along with throwing in some open notes, flows very well. Then Mackowski starts singing, and for once, I'm actually happy about the band having a clean vocalist. His voice hits higher than it has in the previous three songs and the musicianship and programming suits his voice perfectly. Though his tone continues to sound strange, as it does throughout the EP, in my opinion. Then Nick comes in for the first time, and sounds out of place. The music sounds like Sean should still be singing. Then, as if on my mind's own queue, Sean jumps back in, without any awkward transitions and a perfectly matching tone. Then all of a sudden, it's back to Nick screaming over some of their more deathcore sounding stuff, along with a very solid guitar slide. Then the song just sort of repeats itself. Chorus, "brutal" breakdown, out of place vocals, end. The second softest song on the album without question.

"Half Hearted" - quite possibly the most solid song on the album. The song opens slow, sounding extremely heavy and actually somewhat brutal (not being sarcastic for once). The tempo picks up with an extremely smooth transition, then Sean has to come in and ruin it (yeah, his appeal isn't there on this one). Luckily, Nick comes back in quite soon and the song gets heavy again. Sean gets better, finally utilizing harmonies that actually work with his tone of voice, and he sings to nearly straining, which is a sound that actually works for him. The synchronized screaming shortly after is fantastic, yet the closing vocals are bland.

The heaviest song, for sure, is "Dead Weight". This song starts off with Nick screaming over overpowering instrumentation with "Every day is a new day!" that literally got me in the mood to punch someone in the face. His vocals sound fantastic, and the instrumentation is at its heaviest. Then there's a tempo speed up, and it works perfectly. The instrumentation lightens up a tad, but still fit the vocals well. Then Sean comes in, sounding the best he does on the album. The music suits his voice better than any other song and it works extremely well, particularly during the songs soft break shortly after. Then we have a surprise guest: Caleb Shomo of Attack Attack! This may (and probably will be) a turn off for many, yet his screams (both low and high) fit flawlessly with the instruments. Then it's another bridge, and we hear Sean's lower voice, which actually sounds a lot better than his highs. It hardly even sounds like him, honestly. Then his voice gets high again, and the moment is somewhat ruined. Sean sings in the background of himself and has a near Jonny Craig sound to him, though significantly less soaring and less powerful. Nonetheless, Sean can hit the high notes as well. The chorus ends the song after being repeated once more. This song is my personal favorite on the EP, due to its instrumentation, solid vocals from all three contributors, and lyrics.

So here we are, the last song on the album. It's time for Mackowski to either succeed at fronting My Ticket Home, or fail miserably. The song opens up with very soft piano, which was certainly not what I expected on my first listen. My first thought was "Oh no, My Ticket Home isn't going to be able to pull this off. Why didn't they end the album with 'Dead Weight'?" I was wrong. Mackowski comes in, suiting the piano amazingly and sounding fantastic. He emotionally, yet softly, sings "You've chosen your path / But when you look back / Your empty trail won't be there to guide you / Just open your eyes / And see what you've left behind / All that's left inside you." The harmonies and distant guitar work is extremely powerful sounding without being loud at all. Despite all of the bands that can not pull off a piano ballad, My Ticket Home outshine my previous favorite piano ballad, "A.W.O.L." by Broadway. The song changes slightly, as the piano's key raises along with Sean's voice. This is, despite not being the band's usual style, an amazing track. To be honest, I'd like to see Mackowski do a side project along these lines.

This EP greatly excites me for what My Ticket Home does next. Though this band isn't my general style, I adore this album and can't wait for a full-length. This six-song EP will certainly fill the void until then. This, along with Oceana's Clean Head EP, PMtoday's In Medias Res, and Tides of Man's Dreamhouse, is one of my favorite Rise releases this year. Sorry Attack Attack!, but you've just been bested without that techno shit.

Note: While I wrote this review, I was actually listening to the album song-by-song while I reviewed it. I figured this gave me more accurate opinions, as it helped me make sure what I thought a song sounded like was correct.

Tracklist1. Surroundings - 2:59
2. Desertion - 3:38
3. Refuge In Purpose - 3:29
4. In Regret - 3:42
5. Half Hearted - 3:05
6. Dead Weight (ft. Caleb Shomo of Attack Attack!) - 3:18
7. The Opportunity to Be - 3:45


Recommended If You LikeAttack Attack!'s self-titled album, any other metalcore Rise album
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 54.
08:01 PM on 11/28/10
#2
more heart
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This review was way too long for an EP and that RIYL is garbage.
11:11 PM on 11/28/10
#3
rushour144
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EHHHH, it's an okay release... NOT EVEN in the same ballpark as In Media, Dreamhouse and ESP Cleanhead (genius), but its pretty good.

Like Moths To Flames has a similar sound and does it much better!
11:23 PM on 11/28/10
#4
silent_platypus
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I will not listen to it because the word "Opportunity" is printed on two lines on the cover. This is stupid and it irks me as a designer. Think it's a stupid reason not to listen? Fight me. I'm sure it's not hard to come up with more.
06:50 AM on 11/29/10
#5
_><_
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Garbage.
07:01 AM on 11/29/10
#6
WeWereGiants
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I will not listen to it because the word "Opportunity" is printed on two lines on the cover. This is stupid and it irks me as a designer. Think it's a stupid reason not to listen? Fight me. I'm sure it's not hard to come up with more.

I actually think this is a very good reason not to listen, along with the RIYL.
10:57 AM on 11/29/10
#7
SourStuff
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Pretty good release, I agree with the review. Honestly, not much different from AA!'s self-titled stuff, but still enjoyable.
01:28 PM on 11/29/10
#8
AaRoNpUnK
fuck the thrill of the chase.
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why the freak is everyone comparing this to AA's old stuff? it sound snothing like it! if anything, it sounds closer to Vanna than anything else!
01:32 PM on 11/29/10
#9
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why the freak is everyone comparing this to AA's old stuff? it sound snothing like it! if anything, it sounds closer to Vanna than anything else!
Finally someone agrees with me. Electronics are an integral part of Attack Attack's music so it's hard to say a band sounds like them when they lack that element. And even if they did have keys, who's to say they'd incorporate them the way in which AA! does.
01:36 PM on 11/29/10
AaRoNpUnK
fuck the thrill of the chase.
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Finally someone agrees with me. Electronics are an integral part of Attack Attack's music so it's hard to say a band sounds like them when they lack that element. And even if they did have keys, who's to say they'd incorporate them the way in which AA! does.

even if they incorporated straight up electronica in the music, it still wouldn't sound any closer to AA! AA! uses stupid auto-tune and weak "heavy" parts. im not saying these guys are GROUND BREAKING in any sense but im impressed with their vox and clean singing. i think ppl are just comparing AA! to them is cuz Caleb did that guest vocal part
01:56 PM on 11/29/10
StepsInADance
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I didn't think this was as bad as I thought it would be
pretty generic stuff though
02:27 PM on 11/29/10
Krazycev13
I tie a horrible knot.
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This review was way too long for an EP and that RIYL is garbage.

Long reviews make me feel like I can get my point across and really knit pick it. I agree the RIYL kinda sucks, I wasn't totally sure what to put. I'd appreciate if you actually criticized my reviews constructively though, rather than just bashing them.

EDIT: Fixed the RIYL. I figure it's more accurate now.

EHHHH, it's an okay release... NOT EVEN in the same ballpark as In Media, Dreamhouse and ESP Cleanhead (genius), but its pretty good.

Like Moths To Flames has a similar sound and does it much better!

trust me, i would never compare it. these guys are towards the bottom rung of Risers, yet i think they have potential. i definitely agree that LMTF is better.

Pretty good release, I agree with the review. Honestly, not much different from AA!'s self-titled stuff, but still enjoyable.

That's the AA! i was talking about. I feel like their heavy parts are very similar.

why the freak is everyone comparing this to AA's old stuff? it sound snothing like it! if anything, it sounds closer to Vanna than anything else!

Where exactly did I say old stuff? I was referring to their self-titled and that new teaser they have.

even if they incorporated straight up electronica in the music, it still wouldn't sound any closer to AA! AA! uses stupid auto-tune and weak "heavy" parts. im not saying these guys are GROUND BREAKING in any sense but im impressed with their vox and clean singing. i think ppl are just comparing AA! to them is cuz Caleb did that guest vocal part

First, the methods of their instrumentation (guitar work in particular) is extremely similar to the likes of "A for Andrew" on their new album. Primarily open notes. I know that My Ticket Home doesn't use T-Pain autotune, but neither does AA! on their self-titled. That reference was also made before I even knew Caleb was on the CD. I knew he produced it, but I had no idea about the guest vocal part. Also, I wrote this review on third listen. The first paragraph was written last, and I only found out about Shomo's appearance through watching a YouTube video of "Dead Weight". Also, did you notice I pointed that out before the section about "Dead Weight"?
02:39 PM on 11/29/10
more heart
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Long reviews make me feel like I can get my point across and really knit pick it. I agree the RIYL kinda sucks, I wasn't totally sure what to put. I'd appreciate if you actually criticized my reviews constructively though, rather than just bashing them.

EDIT: Fixed the RIYL. I figure it's more accurate now.
Ok, how about this for constructive criticism: Your review is far too long for you to expect to be holding the reader's interest for an EP. If this was a full-length, this review would be lengthy, but could still keep the reader's attention. However, since this is an EP, they may be inclined to stop reading. Also, as you'll see in the review tips link, "song-by-song" reviews are extremely discouraged as they become extremely boring very quickly.

You can bitch all you want about how I "bashed" your review, but I wasn't nitpicking. I was telling you that your review was written in such a manner that most people would be turned off from reading it. After all, you do want people to read this, right?
02:49 PM on 11/29/10
Krazycev13
I tie a horrible knot.
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Ok, how about this for constructive criticism: Your review is far too long for you to expect to be holding the reader's interest for an EP. If this was a full-length, this review would be lengthy, but could still keep the reader's attention. However, since this is an EP, they may be inclined to stop reading. Also, as you'll see in the review tips link, "song-by-song" reviews are extremely discouraged as they become extremely boring very quickly.

You can bitch all you want about how I "bashed" your review, but I wasn't nitpicking. I was telling you that your review was written in such a manner that most people would be turned off from reading it. After all, you do want people to read this, right?
That was much better, until the end. I'm not trying to bitch. I appreciate the song-by-song advice, I'll work on that. And thank you for the advice about the way I wrote it. I'll work on it some more.
02:54 PM on 11/29/10
rushour144
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Long reviews make me feel like I can get my point across and really knit pick it. I agree the RIYL kinda sucks, I wasn't totally sure what to put. I'd appreciate if you actually criticized my reviews constructively though, rather than just bashing them.

EDIT: Fixed the RIYL. I figure it's more accurate now.



trust me, i would never compare it. these guys are towards the bottom rung of Risers, yet i think they have potential. i definitely agree that LMTF is better.



That's the AA! i was talking about. I feel like their heavy parts are very similar.



Where exactly did I say old stuff? I was referring to their self-titled and that new teaser they have.



First, the methods of their instrumentation (guitar work in particular) is extremely similar to the likes of "A for Andrew" on their new album. Primarily open notes. I know that My Ticket Home doesn't use T-Pain autotune, but neither does AA! on their self-titled. That reference was also made before I even knew Caleb was on the CD. I knew he produced it, but I had no idea about the guest vocal part. Also, I wrote this review on third listen. The first paragraph was written last, and I only found out about Shomo's appearance through watching a YouTube video of "Dead Weight". Also, did you notice I pointed that out before the section about "Dead Weight"?
Gothca, and totally agree. Yea I do think they have potential too though!
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