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Fivespeed - Morning Over Midnight Review
By Dan Upton

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To get an idea of the diversity in the sound of Arizona's Fivespeed, consider their list of tour mates, including bands such as Breaking Benjamin, Jimmy Eat World, Blindside, Finch, and the Vans Warped tour. In addition, vocalist Jared Woosley lists Jane's Addiction, the Deftones, and Willie Nelson among the band's influences, and adds that everyone in the band is involved in songwriting. Of course, diversity on a CD isn't always a good thing, sometimes leading to the dreaded "only 2 good songs" effect.

Fortunately, their major-label debut Morning Over Midnight manages not to get caught in that trap. From the infectious sing-along chorus of songs like the lead single "The Mess" to the more introspective emo-oriented sounds of "Touch of One," this disc serves up 10 cuts of solid songwriting that manage to be different enough to not become monotonous, but still fit together as a cohesive package. Most of songs are upbeat with crunchy distorted guitars, including the heavy groove of "Vegas," returning from 2005's Bella EP. These songs are offset by the acoustic and clean electric sounds of songs like "Blame It On You," with a riff somewhat reminiscent of Sevendust's "Angel's Son." The vocals on the disc show some ponkmo influence and sometimes sound a bit too much like Blink-182 for my liking, but generally the slightly gritty sound gives good texture and feeling without resorting to incoherent screaming.

The easiest things to complain about this CD are the relatively short length and the fact that the songs pretty much all follow the same pattern. The Bella EP had two additional songs that are inexplicably absent here, and the roughly 36 minutes of the 10 tracks seems to fly by. On the other hand, that does mean that all of the songs are in the comfortable length to be used as singles without need for much editing, and that's really the biggest strength of this album-10 singles ready to take over rock radio. Sure, some of them are better than others, but there aren't any truly bad tracks. I would predict big things for this band; for fans of melodic modern rock, this is one CD you can't miss.


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Fivespeed - Morning Over Midnight

Label:Virgin
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