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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Time-Traveling Abilities Not Included

Time-Traveling Abilities Not Included
Time-Traveling Abilities Not Included

I don’t remember too much about the year 1997, except for that it was 10 years ago, I turned 9 years old in the summer and, at the start of the next school year, I became kind of a fatty.

Regardless, this has nothing to do with the year 1997. It’s more about the straight-out-of-Chicago band 1997, signed to Victory Records. Their debut album, “…A Better View of the Rising Moon,” released April 17, has the same threads of influence as Victory alumni Hawthorne Heights, Taking Back Sunday and Thursday.

When the album first came in, the envelope was marked from Victory, so I figured that it couldn’t be too bad. And it’s not. It’s slightly generic, but I’m okay with that. In fact, I am probably one of the first people to say that a lot of the music I listen to has its own generic beginnings (sigh, I’ll admit it: Fall Out Boy and Linkin Park).

The one thing that put me off to the band was the emphasis of the lone girl in the band, Kerri Mack (who I later found out was replaced by some other girl). We get it. You’ve got a slight leg up over other bands, because you have a cute-looking girl playing keyboards. That doesn’t mean your press release needs to be covered with photos of her out in front, particularly when she’s not really the main vocal presence.

However, I digress. The first song on the album, “Water’s Edge,” assured me that, while meeting standards of the pop-punk genre, at least I’d be able to tolerate it.

The music is a bit more pop than punk, particularly because the speed never picks up beyond a certain level. All of the songs are pretty much the same tempo, which began to get on my nerves.

This band must have been given some sort of flow sheet while producing the songs for this album. Many, if not all, of 1997’s songs follow a similar pattern, from the instrumentals to the use of the male and female vocals to the lyrics.

While some of the lines are somewhat trite, 1997’s lyrics are enough to make you read the album booklet and think that, although it’s obvious that they’re from the suburbs, “Hey, this isn’t so bad.”

Except for the song “Garden of Evil.” Lyrics like “Did he hold your hand the way that you prefer?/Did he ask you like I asked you our first time?” are kind of, well … lame. Sorry, that’s just the way it works. Take it or leave it, but my suggestion is that next time, you should leave it.

Overall, their lyrics are good (albeit, like I said, kind of generic), but the music on this album kind of irks me. It’s all similarly paced and similar-sounding. For a debut, though, 1997 did a pretty decent job and their album art is pretty cute. I suggest at least downloading a couple of tracks, namely “Water’s Edge” and “Curse or Cure,” and giving them a chance.