Arthur - Watch The Years Crawl By

Album cover
Arthur
Watch The Years Crawl By
Arthur - Watch The Years Crawl By Review rating:
3
User rating:
Average: 4 (1 vote)

Ever since 1992, pop-punk stalwarts MxPx have been mainstays in the punk scene, influencing a diverse array musicians that are now scene staples (The Rocket Summer, anyone?). Yet, even during MxPx’s peak, there was always more to the members than the fast, upbeat tracks that became MxPx’s trademark. To convey this other half, the band members (with the aid of a former guitar tech) created Arthur, a side project that showed a slower, deeper side to the band members. With their debut full length (and first release in over 10 years) Watch The Years Crawl By, the band has shown that while they can break out of MxPx’s trademark sound, they still have a lot more tightening to do before they can be as revered for their slower tracks as they are for their faster stuff.

This collection of tracks begins with “Cold Outside.” Immediately, the track invokes pop-punk’s heydays. While catchy and fun, the song manages to steer clear of overproduced vocals and sugary production, instead relying on a “rougher” production value that, if anything, enhances the value of the track. The same rule applies to track number two, “America.” With grooving bass lines, perfect backing drums, and a simple, yet memorable, guitar riff, the song manages to strike the perfect balance between a polished studio mix and “rough” production. And so the album continues, with “Be Still,” “Heartache,” “Tuck You In,” and “To Have And To Hold” hitting similar high notes. Yet, after the novelty of “rougher” production wears off (as it should by the time “Tie Me To You” rolls around), the band seems to have little to stand upon. “Tie Me To You,” if anything, is hurt by the lack of proper production value. The lack of emotion in lead singer “Arthur”’s voice is underscored by the lack of clean production applied to the music. The rest of the album simply plods along (saved only somewhat by “Fortissimo”), sounding empty without the proper production that could usually save even mundane songs.

Without a doubt, Arthur’s Watch The Years Crawl By is a mixed bag. The first few songs have excellent melodies, and are backed up, at least for new listeners, with the novelty of a “rougher” production value. Yet, as the album progresses, the songs sounds more and more empty as the novelty begins to wear off, a double-edged sword that winds up leaving a bad taste in the listener’s mouth. This review is not to say that Arthur don’t have potential, because they do, but next time, before they step out of their comfort zone, the members should think more about the songs (and the production value) that they release.

1. Cold Outside
2. America
3. Be Still
4. Heartache
5. Tuck You In
6. To Have And To Hold
7. Tie Me To You
8. Thought A Lot
9. Out Of The Blue
10. Fortissimo
11. You Bring Me To My Knees
12. Still Haven't Reached You
... read more

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