Photocell is a new band. Verrrrry new. They played their first show not even three months ago. Yet they are touring with bands such as Mock Orange and Red Animal War. Yes, the one on Deep Elm records that you adore, or at least SHOULD adore. There must be a reason for such awesome tour mates.
That reason is: Photocell is a band that prides itself on being mid-tempo. In a world of either fast music or slow music, not many bands are of medium tempo. Photocell shows this off by crafting all three of their songs in the same style. Plodding, brooding, angsty guitars with thick reverb and emotively minor vocals dominate the sound for all three tracks. They throw in some creative breakdowns and some interesting guitar tricks, but for the most part this feels like emo overkill. Contributing to the negative feel is the inconsistency of the vocals, which fluctuate between a bit of a drone and a bit of a whine. When the focus is off them, they are pretty tolerable and even enjoyable. But, if you cast the spotlight on them, as is done in the song “Let It Die”, they melt in the heat and become pretty bad. The drums are intricate and tasteful, gaining some credibility for this.
I’m getting the feeling that they’re going for opus-in-three-movements idea here, because all three songs keep the same theme but introduce new ideas to it. That’s a hard idea for a major label band to finish (It took Thursday forever to do it), and for an indie band, it’s next to impossible. But, attempting greatness and falling short is better than shooting low and succeeding. Therefore, this is a good starting point for Photocell. There are some definite ideas to be developed, but they just bit off a little more than they can chew this time.