Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

Number 1 Defender

March 6, 2004

I didn’t know Spiderman existed in Britain. Call me stupid, but I thought he was an American thing. #1 Defender has taught me otherwise, though. All three song titles and the album title are references to Spiderman. That’s pretty cool in my book, as I love Spiderman.

#1 Defender is, at its core, a melodic emo band. They play every riff, every note with a melodic flourish. No foolin, it’s evident just about everywhere. The first song, titled “MJ (The Girl Next Door)”, is completely melodic, mixing swirling single note melodies over a nice drumbeat. The high, clean vocals fit very well over this, making this song into an amazing elegy. The singer has an impressive range, which he uses to full extent on this song. “An Incident At Oscorp” is much more punky than the previous rock offering, and subsequently the vocals aren’t as good. Thankfully, the infectious riffs make up for it completely. The 8-minute “Welcome to Springwood (A Nice Place To Live)” has a bit of everything. It features their hardest moments, their softest moments, and everything in between. I mean, in 8 minutes of straight rock, you’ve gotta change it up somehow. The catch to this song is in the middle, where they pit a melodic section vs. machine gun bursts of hardness. The only problem is that it feels like a lot of songs strung together instead of one cohesive unit.

This brand of melodic emo isn’t being done too much. It’s upbeat and pretty, and it’s quite awesome. #1 Defender surely has the patent on it, cause they do it so well. This album is really quite incredible, with hardly anything to degrade. It just needs to get longer. Not song length (Please don’t make those longer) but in volume. If you live in Britain, listen to the Defender. Or I’ll attack you. Just kidding.

Best feature: It’s unique emo (and you thought that was an oxymoron).
Genre: Melodic Emo.
Label: None

Read: www.thedefenderfightson.co.uk

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Stephen Carradini and friends write reviews of bands that are trying to make the next step in their careers.

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