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A Man Can Change His Stars

  • reviewed by Andy Argyrakis Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2004 1 Aug
A Man Can Change His Stars
Sounds like … passionate vocals and gripping guitars akin to The Juliana Theory, The Get Up Kids, Further Seems Forever, and Number One GunAt a glance … the quartet seems sincere and expands into several songwriting territories, but never truly establishes its own sonic identityTrack ListingCloser to ClosureGloriettaRunningEvery DreamThe DamageTonight, TonightApril DreamsBreak Them DownHold OnLights and Jewels

Floodgate Records' latest find is an alternative/emo rocking foursome from Tulsa called Mourning September, known primarily for its work ethic on the road. Prior to having a record deal, they had opened for the likes of Blindside, Anberlin and The Juliana Theory. All that touring gave the band a more refined sound than most demos that come across the desk of Floodgate owner Tim Taber, thus leading to their deal and the release of A Man Can Change His Stars.

The contract gave the band several key resources, like links to producer James Paul Wisner (Dashboard Confessional, Further Seems Forever) and vocalist Jon Bunch (of Sense Field and FSF fame, who adds backing support). Cuts like "Closer To Closure" and "Running" resound with pleading vocals, grinding guitars and hook-laden fills that not only come across as insanely catchy, but also quite sincere. The guys are also more than simply one-dimensional songwriters, singing all-out praise during "Glorietta," dealing with a friend's unexpected death throughout "Lights and Jewels" and living adventurously for God on "Every Dream."

Despite these positive factors, there's precious little that distinguishes this group from the slew of similar sounding bands cluttering today's scene. Many tracks simply mirror what one might find on recent records by The Juliana Theory or FSF ("The Damage," "Break Them Down") while others ("April Dreams," "Hold On") fall back to the late '90s sounds of The Promise Ring and The Get Up Kids. It'll be their ability to break away from the rehashed emo-rock formula—not how closely they adhere to it—that will determine just how many Septembers these Mourners can last.