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by Dan Grote

At their best, SR-71 have proven themselves to be more musically gifted than your average pop punk band. Many of their songs extend past three-chord guitar patterns and nasal-voiced singing about ex-girlfriends. However, they’re on a major record label, so songs like “Right Now” are released to radio, marketing the band as pop punk in order to draw in fans.

On the band’s new album, Tomorrow, SR-71 do little to break their own pigeonholing, as the easily marketable pop punk songs are back, though in all fairness, other songs on the album are darker or have more of a middle-of-the-road feel, think New Found Glory meets Tonic.

While the opening track, “They All Fall Down,” comes off as rather innocuous, the album’s title track, “Tomorrow,” finds the band sharpening its metal blade, with a darker tone bordering on screamo, which is on one hand a cheap grasp at diversity but on the other a decent change of pace.

It’s not long, however, before the Hot Topic t-shirt punk takes the stage, on songs like “She Was Dead” and “Lucky,” the latter being an all-too familiar sounding song about being in relationship Hell and buying porn off the Internet.

Then there are the songs that find the band wandering off toward the middle of the road, with ballad pop like “In My Mind” and barely rockers such as “My World” and “Hello Hello.” At this point, the only thing that saves the band from being completely adult contemporary-ready is lead singer Mitch Allen’s high-pitched nasal voice, which of course is what most condemns the band to sounding like every other pop punk band. At the same time, the penultimate track, “In My Mind,” finds the band attempting Axl-size balladry, with a very un-punk five minutes-plus, piano-infused slow track that makes you want to give the band an E for Effort.

VERDICT: While there’s no short supply of blandness on Tomorrow despite its attempt at diversity, there is something to be said for the resurgence of the guitar solo in rock music that has made its way onto this album. Mark Beauchemin’s riffing on “Truth” and “Lucky” certainly provide the album with saving graces, as does “In My Mind.” SR-71 are more mature than their marketed peers, but not necessarily as entertaining, unfortunately.

CD Info 

Label: RCA 
They All Fall Down 
My World 
Hello Hello 
She Was Dead 
The Best Is Yet To Come
Broken Handed 
In My Mind 
Listen to samples and Purchase this CD online

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Hear Samples and Purchase SR-71's new CD

Visit the Official SR-71 Website for more on the band, tour dates and other cool stuff

Dan Grote is an iconoFAN Contributor
Copyright 2002 - All rights Reserved.


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