Stay - American Cherry Bomb
Release Date: February 14, 2011 (Purevolume free download)
Record Label: Independently Released
Stay is a band that has been getting a good amount of attention on this site as they release their first full-length record, American Cherry Bomb. The band plays an easy-on-the-eyes brand of pop rock, instantly accessible but also sort of brash, the type of music that could probably be featured on some radio stations that say they play "heavy rock." However, the thing that sticks out most about this record is that, despite all the hype and catchy singles, it's simply not very good.
The music is by-the-book and the vocals are very polished and fairly typical - something that shouldn't be a surprise when you take into account the presence of producer John Naclerio (My Chemical Romance, Just Surrender). Aside from a few tracks that stand out because of their catchiness, American Cherry Bomb is way too bland and boring for a band trying to make a good impression in the pop rock scene.
That being said, the songs that could be singles, like "Motor City," the title track and "Machine Gun Summer," are tracks that could easily be picked up by fans of radio rock. They're the sort of songs that could help this band ink a contract to a major record label - something that leaves me scratching my head because American Cherry Bomb was released independently. The three songs are really the only ones that I can personally see myself going back to after several spins of this record, and I doubt I'll go back to them often.
Those three tracks make good use of Anthony Rainville's kinda-soaring vocals, blending them in with a-little-too-corny gang vocals from the rest of the six-piece group. Seriously, considering that there are supposedly six band members playing instruments on this record, the music doesn't seem deep or complex at all, even for this genre. Three members are credited with playing guitar (Alex Gaynor and Steve Ackles being the two main guitarists, with Andrew Elliot playing a third guitar and keys), but the guitar work on this album is...boring. Do I sound repetitive? I couldn't think up many synonyms for "boring" at the time of publication.
American Cherry Bomb is something that's all been done before, and it isn't done well enough here to really be considered attention-worthy. The carefree vibe that this album should be giving off is trampled when a song like "Arson in the Suburbs" comes on, featuring some sort of attempt at rapping with a chorus that's centered around gang vocals. I know it's supposed to be fun music, but I don't have any fun at all when I listen to that song - much more fun is had when I change the record to something else entirely.
Now, I'm not saying that I'm not a fan of the bro-tastic, frat house party brand of pop rock, which Stay is all about. The pop rock for tough guys act is totally fine by me, but something fresh has to be presented to make it worthwhile. Songs like "Car Crash World" become repetitive after just a few listens, and most of the album follows suit. While this record is far from the worst thing you could hear on your 14-year-old sister's iPod, it's nothing that needs to be digested considering it comes from a genre that's already mostly puréed.
Definitely disagree with the review, and John Naclerio is an absolutely fantastic producer, so I'm not quite sure why it says that he has very polished and typical vocals. The vocals are one of John's strongest points.
Sadly, I have to agree with this one on the whole. I think this band has a ton of potential, easily one of the better unsigned pop/rock acts out there, but I was disappointed by the full-length. Too much filler and it doesn't take any risks.
Personally really enjoyed this album. Some great summer tunes here and also whilst i agree with your standout tracks i also think 'Arson in the Suburbs' and 'Car Crash World' are two of the strongest tracks not to mention 'The Rocket Boys' being one of the songs of the year so far for me. Anyway despite the review i reccomend this album especially as its free on Purevolume.
I really don't like this kind of music, so I can't justify or disregard this review. I'm not going to like it even if its good, but I just have to give my man props for the most hilarious recommendation I've ever read. "Shotgunning a beer outside of a frat house" I laughed my ass off while listening to the first song of this record. A + review just for that.
I agree with this review. I honestly don't see why so many people on this site go crazy over this band. Their not bad, but definitely not one of those bands that really sick out or do anything different from the rest of the bands in their genre.