Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

Straylight Run-John Nolan

November 9, 2004

straylightrunStraylight Run – Self Titled

Best Element: Amazing lyrical content.

Genre: Emo-ish piano-rock.

Website: www.straylightrun.com

Label: Victory Records www.victoryrecords.com

John Nolan was the lead singer/ guitarist for the New Jersey based Taking Back Sunday when he left the band. Nolan brought Shawn Cooper with him from TBS to play bass, they then added Nolan’s sister Michelle Nolan. Will Noon was soon added to line up to play drums. With the line up complete Straylight Run went into the studio and released an internet 6 song demo. Now, almost 2 years after their formation, Straylight Run has released its first full length album.

John Nolan and crew really changed gears with Straylight Run, going from fast pop-punk to melodic piano based songs. Even with this shift in styles I believe this album could be much stronger. The lyrics are amazing but the music is not developed the way it should be, especially on the slower songs. Now there are exceptions, such as “The Tension and the Terror”, track two, which has great music. But as a whole the music is not what I had hoped for.

The album is also overproduced. One of the things I liked about the demo was that John sounded raw. His voice was scratchy and would break on the higher notes. Now those spots have been smoothed out by a computer. This is most evident in track three, “Existentialism on Prom Night” where parts have been removed and John’s voice sounds flat, almost like he is sick.

The album seems over though, almost like the band spent too much time trying to be perfect. I’m not saying it’s not a good album only that it blends into the woodwork. You put it on and forget that it’s on. Without standout tracks there is nothing to hold you attention to the music.

Though it is a good album, it leaves much to be desired and leaves you searching for that lost hook track.

-Scott Landis

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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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