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The Revolution Will Begin in the Blink of an Eye, Vol. 1

  • reviewed by Andree Farias Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2003 1 Jun
The Revolution Will Begin in the Blink of an Eye, Vol. 1
Sounds like … a smorgasbord of styles ranging from modern rock and emo-pop to post-punk, hardcore and everything in betweenAt a Glance … this hit-and-miss sampler is brimming with young and hopeful bands, and is a realistic indicator of what an A&R scout has to sift through on a day-to-day basis

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 Revolution Will Begin in the Blink of an Eye, Vol. 1 (hereafter referred to as Revolution), the up-and-coming record label, Mono vs. Stereo, diligently skips over this step and seeks to do the listeners a favor by single-handedly picking what's hot in the indie scene and serving it up on this various artists sampler of bands, most of which are independent and quite amateurish at what they do, hoping that we'll rescue something from it. Let's see if they succeed.

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 Revolution in the form of "On Our Way," a song performed by Wellwater that features nice harmonies and a sound that is bound to please fans of The Used or even Further Seems Forever's 2001 album, The Moon Is Down. On "Lately," both Finch and the Foo Fighters are paid homage by the band Colson, whose guitar parts draw heavily from the Foo's anthemic "Hero," while the rhythm section is similar to Finch's on "What It Is to Burn."

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.