Time to Leave - Dedicate Yourself
Record Label: None
Release Date: April 8, 2008
Thrice, formed in 1998 by Dustin Kensrue and friends, is indeed a successful band. They're so successful that their influence has spread across the Atlantic Ocean and into the hands of UK locals Time to Leave. Some may already be asking, “What the fuck does this have to do with Thrice?” Well, think of Thrice without the cool effects, replace the intricate guitar work with a more straight-forward style, and then you'd have Time to Leave.
The EP kicks off with the track “Armour Won't Save You”. The first thing that stands out are the vocals provided by Andy Hunt. They sound so perfect on this track with the march-like snare and quiet melodic guitars that I almost feel betrayed when I hear them on later tracks. Even the vocal harmonization towards the middle of the song is fantastic, reminiscent of The Receiving End of Sirens album Between the Heart and the Synapse.
Speaking of TREOS, that seems to be another large influence enveloping this band. Ever need your lyrical fix for themes of treason, espionage, and betrayal? That's what Time to Leave is all about. I'm not saying the lyrics are bad either, it just seems that treason and espionage tend to be rather vague topics in songwriting, even when done well.
The third track is titled “Strength of Heroes”, and it's where things start to get icky. The instrumentation on this track, while interesting on a first or second listen, just becomes so predictable and boring that I always skip it when coming back for more listens. This is also where the vocals take a nose dive, and it's not that they're bad either. Hunt is an awesome singer, but on this track I feel like I'm listening to Three Doors Down. The radio rock-esque mixing just doesn't do it for me, and overall the track is completely skippable.
The closer on the EP, “Embers”, brings it back for me. The vocals retake their former glory, the instrumentals become interesting again, and the Thrice influence shines through. Again, there happens to be completely enjoyable vocal harmonization towards the end of the song, which just begs the question – why isn't the band doing more of this? You have to work with what you have in order to be successful.
Overall, Dedicate Yourself is a decent debut EP for the band. If you're obviously wearing your influences on your sleeve, yet can still keep your audience interested, you've got to be doing something right. Still, Time to Leave will have to grow into their own sound before they can record their Vheissu.