Sunday, May 06, 2007

N'exist pas

No Second Troy, Narcotic, self-released [5/8/07]

I knew I was in trouble right from the start. The press kit compares this DC combo to Coldplay, Snow Patrol, Aqualung, U2, the Fray, and Death Cab
for Cutie. I have a soft spot for U2, but I'm no fan of the rest of these bands (and those who sound like U2 usually suck).

After listening to Narcotic, I'm no fan of No Second Troy either. The quintet serves as a reminder that not all independent recording artists play "indie rock"—whether you see that as a good thing or not. Either way, the opposite is worse: corporate rock.

For many artists, independent labels are just a stepping stone to bigger things. NST's second sounds like a major label recording. The band would probably take that as a compliment. It isn't.

Though it's unlikely they spent millions on the production, it sounds like they did (and on "Brighten Up", they do boast, "We've got money to burn"). They know how to play, they know how to write, and Jeff Wharen has a radio-ready voice. Every song is crying out for commercial radio airplay.

Further, NST may well have put their hearts into this thing. I have no idea. They remind me of a million other bands, but unless they hit it big—which is clearly their goal—I'll forget all about them in the days to come. Listening to this album wasn't painful, but it left no impression, had no effect. It's as if it never even existed.

Endnote: U2 image from the archives, NST image from their official website. You can also visit them at their MySpace Page.

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