Album Review
The Injured List - There's Always Next Year Album Cover

The Injured List - There's Always Next Year

Reviewed by
The Injured List - Thereís Always Next Year
Record Label: None
Release Date: December 5, 2008
Michiganís The Injured List is still a relatively new band; however, the band has been building for a while in some form or another - under different names and with different members. Some of these songs are over a year old, but as I listen to the mastered version for the first time, I still get that same sense of excitement that I did the first time I heard these songs.

The bandís sound is largely pop-rock based, with different influences here and there. There are lighter pop songs ("Can You Hear Me Yet?", "Finally Here"), a country influenced song ("Untitled"), more rock sounding songs ("Fall Apart", "Forgive Me"), and even a little bit of a metal influence coming from the dueling guitars in tracks such as "Lost" and "Ghost." However, there seems to be an underlying theme of lost faith running throughout the record, which at least ties the tracks together in that sense.

It is songs like "Fall Apart," "Lost," "Sure Things," and "Wait" where the band seems to be most comfortable. These songs display the driving melodies that permeate through vocalist Nathanís voice, but still allow room for the backing to flourish as it pleases - the guitars wind in and out and often meet in the center to join the rhythm section.

"Sure Things" is likely to be a real fan favorite, with its instant likability, honest lyrics and straight to the point hooks. I get a real sense of torture through the vocal delivery, helping to bring the lyrics to life. This is really a pop song, but the band manages to break away from that with slight structure changes and layered instruments. If there is any one song on this album that new listeners should listen to first Ė it is this one.

"Crazy" is another one of the stand out tracks here. It first surfaced as a piano-only song, and ended up being transformed to how we hear it here. The dance-y feel that the track has juxtaposes the desperate cries to old lovers and friends heard in the lyrics; itís actually quite chilling. Once again, the band shows another facet to its sound, but still it blends with most of the rest of the record. I can see this song being a real trademark for the band.

The production is pretty much spot on, and this is about as good as youíre going to get for a self produced album. Of course, itís not perfect, but the band should be very proud of doing this themselves. I am sure as they grow they will learn.

This feels more like a Ďgreatest hitsí compilation more than a standard album; itís almost as if the band picked their favorite songs from their career and put them on one album to try and grab new listeners and give a look back on their career. There is great variety within the bandís sound here, which is great, but I look forward to a more cohesive effort for the next album, where we will hopefully see some of the brooding sound (heard in "Ghost" and "Forgive Me") show its face a bit more. Watch out for their next album - I think itíll be a good one.

Recommended if You LikeValencia; Jimmy Eat World; Over It; Motion City Soundtrack; other pop rock bands

This review is a user submitted review from lew_1987. You can see all of lew_1987's submitted reviews here.
Displaying posts 1 - 3 of 3
06:49 AM on 01/12/09
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Paulb-182's Avatar
good review Lew

i still enjoy this album
07:20 AM on 01/12/09
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mybreakingpoint's Avatar
Lewis, you're the man

you're dead on with the 'greatest hits' line, more or less. i viewed this album as a I Am the Movie-esque thing, because all these songs were just songs randomly written at different times over the last 4 years and thrown together.

the album we're working on now is much more concise and consistent, with 9 of the 14 songs we're working on being new songs i've written in the last 2-4 months, though unfortunately they're not really going the direction of "Forgive Me" & "Ghost", but more in the direction of "Come Back Home", "Finally Here", and "Fall Apart." i've got my fingers crossed that you still dig it anyway haha

thanks again for doing this

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