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by Keavin Wiggins

Back to part I

Something Corporate

One listen to Something Corporate and a keen ear can guess that they hail from Orange County, a music scene that spawned the likes of No Doubt, The Offspring, Lit, Sugar Ray and Handsome Devil. While all of the before mentioned bands fall into different areas of the music spectrum they all possess an astute ability to find a strong melodic underpinning to their music that gives it a unique Orange County feel. 

Where Finch takes to the hard side of things Something Corporate focus their energies on the more melodic face of modern rock. They are often lumped into the “punk-pop” genre but in reality they are more a melodic alternative rock band or can even be labeled power-pop with a slight edge, sort of like Coldplay turned up a notch. Something Corporate has more in common with groups like Jimmy Eat World and Weezer than they do with New Found Glory, Fenix*TX or even Blink-182. 

To call Something Corporate’s music radio-friendly would be an understatement. Their full-length debut, “Leaving Through the Window” contains more hooks than Imelda Marcos’ walk-in closet. In many ways this album is this year’s version of Matchbox-20’s megahit, ”Mad Season,” with less annoying vocals. 

Those looking for pure power may be a bit disappointed with Something Corporate, on the other hand if you are looking for competent alt-pop with a healthy dose of melody and fuzzy guitars, then you will find a lot to love about this band. They have a full sound that compels you to tap your toes, not bang your head. 

Something Corporate isn’t exactly trend setting or ground breaking but they do have a lot to offer. Radio should love these guys and they will have no problem attracting fans with their sugary melodic sound, provided the band gets the airplay on modern rock radio they deserve. 

Atticus Fault

Atticus Fault is one of those bands that are really hard to nail down. They employ a lot of different elements in their music which is at times is ambient and spacey like Pink Floyd and at other times is folkish like The Wallflowers but the band they are sure to be compared with is U2 since lead vocalist, Todd Evans, sounds eerily similar to Bono a times and the rhythm of a song like “My Trip To Mars” has a definite U2 quality to it. But the U2 comparisons end there; the music is more dynamic and multifaceted than U2’s. 

Some have called Atticus Fault post-grunge while others lump them in with the likes of Coldplay but neither description is really fitting. In reality, they fit into many spots on the musical spectrum. As a result you won’t be easily bored with listening to this CD from beginning to end. On the other hand, not all of the songs are true gems but for the most part the band hits their mark and delivers the goods. 

This album is a bit out of place in the context of what we hear from major labels these days, on the other hand it is a refreshing breath of fresh air. Unlike the overly simplistic rock that rules the charts and airwaves, Atticus Fault takes a more progressive approach and it suits them well and gives them solid credentials as musicians. Even their more commercial friendly tunes like “Too Late” have more going on under the surface musically than the standard modern pop-rock hit. 

In many ways this album is Atticus Fault taking you on an exploration of their influences, with a modern rock facade placed over other forms of rock and pop music. At times they do sound a bit like a more dynamic Coldplay and at others a heavier take on the Wallflowers. I’m sure they will draw the comparison with Radiohead as well. And while the songs do have a progressive nature, they are not so progressive as to chase away hopes of radio airplay, Atticus Fault know when to employ a lush chorus, when it is called for but on the other hand the music here may be a bit too complicated for fans who are used to the simplistic melodies and musicianship of mainstream rock. 

This is definitely a strong first effort and from a critical musical standpoint the strongest album featured here. Atticus Fault is a band that does warrant the attention of the more serious rock fans and has enough commercially appealing elements to attract a more mainstream audience, if that audience is willing to go beyond the insipid qualities of most modern rock hits. This is one of those albums where you feel compelled to dust off the headphones so you can absorb every nuance of the music and is among one of the best rock releases this year. 

There you have it, the first half of our look at MCA’s rock roster. As you can see there are a lot of strong recent releases from the label that are worthy of your attention.  Join us next time for part two of this special feature where we look at other MCA rock artists including Midtown, Box Car Racer, Legends of Rodeo and Nonpoint. 

Watch and Listen

Here are the latest songs and videos from MCA's Rock Roster! 

• Finch - "Letters To You" 

• New Found Glory - "My Friends Over You"

• Something Corporate - "I Woke Up In A Car"

• Atticus Fault - "My First Trip To Mars"

• Midtown - "Like A Movie"

• Box Car Racer - "I Feel So"

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