Exit4 - An Ordinary Tragedy
Record Label: Unsigned
Release Date: May 24, 2008
New Jersey pop-punk has brought us loads of joy and heartbreak over the years, and Exit4 is no different. While they aren't as brilliant as Midtown or The Early November, they're here to provide some big hooks over layered guitars, all while discussing why being young and in love is a hard habit to break.
Fast food, video games and Adult Swim might be the best way to describe how Exit4 sounds: appealing in a one-dimensional manner and satisfying enough for at least a few moments. They won't cure cancer, they won't be included on any wedding playlists -- they play pop-punk songs that appeal to the younger squadron looking for a quick cure for their ADD shiftiness.
Produced by two members from Army of Freshman, it's never as tongue-in-cheek silly as Bowling For Soup nor is it as gratifying as New Found Glory, yet it's somewhere in between. "Just the Same Song" doesn't shy away from letting you know this is all territory that has been previously pursued, as there's nothing too out of the ordinary here, and "Three Cheers" is just a simple misfire. "Changing Channels" wants to be an epic closing number, but lacks focus and is caked in extra effort.
Regardless, there are some gems: "No Man's An Island" has a solid foundation and "When I Get There" could be massive with better production, as it has the sort of hook that feeds off glossy production (Howard Benson could make it shine like no other). Despite the limited production techniques that strive to push the band towards pop-punk royalty, at its heart, Exit4 is composed of an avalanche of pop hooks over swirling guitar lines. Any label willing to give these guys a bigger budget to spend on production would surely have a new hit on their hands, as vocalist Nick Saraceni could soar with proper coaching. While Exit4 are certainly Ordinary, they're hardly a Tragedy. However, for a sugar-rush, there is no denying that you could do a whole lot worse.
We played "Just The Same Song" on our podcast show a while ago, and I have to say, I dig this band. I've talked to the guys a little bit through email, and they seem like the real deal. Give their whole album a listen if you can, it's good stuff!