The Track Record- Self Titled EP
1. Plans to Make Up on the Beach
2. Talk Radio
4. Winters Run
5. Letters to Summer
With the creation of the Rushmore Records imprint, the folks over at Drive-Thru had a clean slate to work with, a fresh piece of clay to mold however they chose. And while the definite character of Rushmore Records is still very much in the making, the takeoff has been far from impressive. Instead of utilizing the opportunity to create something fresh and exciting, something completely separate from Drive-Thru, they proceeded to sign a slew of generic pop-rock bands. Now there is absolutely nothing wrong with pop-rock, but it is entirely subjective to the quality of the music. Unfortunately Self Against City, The Track Record, and Day at the Fair have only proven to be mediocre at best on their respective debuts. To sign the best one of these bands would have been one thing, but to sign all three, especially since they all sound relatively similar, just wasn’t the direction I had envisioned for Rushmore.
The Track Record’s self-titled first effort portrays much of that same sound you’ve heard from dozens of other bands. They have made an attempt to sell themselves as “philosophical pop,” and while the lyrics are reasonably charming at times, the words are far from profound. However, the extra effort is definitely a welcomed improvement upon the typical formula. Admittedly, a portion of the guitar work was moderately impressive and sometimes caught my attention, sadly the quality of production is minimal and the guitars always sound immature and way too thin to be taken seriously. If the instruments don’t come through solid enough or if they lack the necessary strength it becomes extremely hard to grasp the true purpose of the musicianship or to be impacted by it.
The vocals are some of the most whiny I have heard in a long time. I fully appreciate singers who possess desperation or longing in their voice, but this is just a lack of ability. The nasal, childish method of singing is very hard to pull off nowadays, and ultimately it detracts from the band’s potential and creates another factor making it hard to take the music seriously. From an optimistic standpoint, we can only hope this EP is for The Track Record what Nothing Gold Can Stay was for New Found Glory. Musically they have talent, and on a more focused, well produced, more mature record, maybe it would have a chance to shine through. But for now, this debut EP holds little value for The Track Record and doesn’t say much about Rushmore Records.