The Injured List - There’s Always Next Year
Record Label: None
Release Date: December 5, 2008
"I knew this would happen..."
Bam! “Fall Apart” hits you before you have any time to get settled in; there is no cozy intro track, no five minutes of intertwining white noise and obscure samples from the latest hipster movie. It’s not raw, but it’s certainly not polished either. It’s catchy, but not poppy to the point of pandering. See, Michigan’s own The Injured List harkens back to a time where you didn’t have to have lead synth lines to be a pop-punk band; back when you could have hooks without sacrificing edge. This is not the pop-punk you hear in 2008... and it’s not the pop-punk you heard in 1998 either. This album finds a perfect balance between the two. Not raw enough to alienate its potential mainstream audience, and not too polished to alienate its non-mainstream fanbase. It’s a fine line to walk, and The Injured List walks it well.
“Forgive Me” is one of the most dynamic songs on the record. It starts out with a seductive, smoky piano line, builds into an extremely memorable bridge, and then erupts into a straight-up massive chorus. A saxophone solo follows, giving the song a charming flair. “Untitled” is the most chill song on the album, humorously subtitled “Drake & Josh Cover” by a band member. “I’m taking what I get, 'cause I can't take nothing else,” says vocalist Nathan Marks, with an almost audible shoulder flick. “Finally Here” is a bright anthem, that combined with “Untitled,” forms a one-two punch of optimism that makes downers like “Crazy” and “Wait” that much more effective.
“Sure Things” is one of the catchiest songs I've ever heard - trust me, there is no hyperbole here. About a year ago, I heard a demo once, and from that point on, I knew every single word. The song is buffed up from its previous state - a guitar line fills in the gaps between the bouncy piano and Marks' smooth, always pleasant voice. But the simple pop of “Sure Things” pales in comparison to album closer “Wait.” Its lyrics go between depressing and uplifting, but always remain beautiful. The vocal harmonies work excellently, the guitars placed perfectly, and the song in its entirety works to create a seven-minute emotional roller coaster that ranks among the best songs to be released this year.
The album has its missteps, don't let me mislead you: the guitar solo in “Finally Here” sounds completely out of place and ruins what could have been a fantastic song, and lyrically, there are some downright painful moments. Even though The Injured List only has one full-length out, they have proved themselves as miles ahead their peers in every aspect of the music they craft.
"But what's there left to hope for
When you live your life behind closed doors?
Don't let it get to you, dear
You're better than the sad words
On your paper and in your head."
Good review and great album. I just have one problem. WHY with every album i rate it will NEVER FUCKING LOAD!!!??? It's not like a have a trash computer either. 2GB/memory, 160GB/hard drive, vista, intel pentium dual core, etc. There's something wrong with that tool.