The Revolution Will Begin in the Blink of an Eye, Vol. 1
- reviewed by Andree Farias Copyright Christianity Today International
- 2003 1 Jun
I don't know about your area, but where I'm from, battle-of-the-bands competitions are all the rage. They're not popular because of the number of people that come out to see these showcases, but because of the droves of bands that sign up to be "discovered," which, quantitatively, usually outnumbers the unsuspecting attendees at these events.
In the case of
The first official signee to Mono vs. Stereo, The Evan Anthem, kicks things off with the Celebrity Deathmatch-themed "Goodnight, Good Fight," an energetic power pop number not entirely unlike something Jimmy Eat World or Anberlin would do; front man Derek Kern is vocally confident, and the sonic backdrop provided by his peers is sunny and uncomplicated, with interesting time movements that make this track an early winner. Up next, the similarly collegiate "Mercedes Baby," by House of Heroes, will likely strike a chord with Jimmy Eat World or even Bleach fans, as its jovial "whoa's," crunchy riffs, and a sweet instrumental breakdown at the end make them a close runner-up.
Since no talent competition is complete without the requisite screamfests, a number of bands seek to remedy that by providing their own doses of guttural bellowing and undecipherable lyrics. Embraced is one such band, dishing out post-punk servings of cacophonous screams left-and-right on the track "Saratoga," only to switch to a lighter emo mode in the latter part of a song. Showdown's ironically titled "Vow of Silence" begs the question why the vocalist doesn't heed his own advice, since his feline shrieks and its accompanying ogre-like growls are the two prominent driving forces of the song, with the emo underpinnings of the track a distant second. Even more erratic is The Uriah Omen's "Maybe the Butler Did It," an incongruous melange of indie-punk antics, singing, screaming, growling, whiny emo histrionics, conversational scatting, and then back.
Sanity returns to
The most memorable tracks on the album are Marcco's "A Beautiful Life," and Matt Beckler's "In My Head." "A Beautiful Life," with its drum loop intro and slower paced rhythm, is one of the few classy, more memorable moments on the project; the song is mostly acoustic and is even capable of attracting U2 enthusiasts with its emotive, Edge-patterned guitar touches. The tune by Beckler, on the other hand, doesn't sound like anything else on the disc, since it appears to be the only song that uses keyboards to carry it along, with simple and unassuming guitar parts adorning the track.
Despite its few bright spots, I'm having trouble recommending Revolution to anyone, unless you're a diehard fringe music fanatic. Not even the two main selling points of this album—the price tag of $5.99 and the Ben Folds-inspired song by Relient K's Matt Thiessen—make it that essential of a record. Many of the tracks not mentioned in this review are skippable at best, and some suffer heavily from weak mixing and mastering. But ultimately it's up to you. The folks at Mono vs. Stereo did their best at selecting "the cream of the crop" in unsigned independent talent; only you can decide if they did a good job or not.