Andy Jackson, member of Hot Rod Circuit, and his other project Death In The Park have been a band whose debut full-length release has been waited on for a while now. It was almost a release that was expected not to see the light of day, expected for a 2009 release, but obviously that never happened. Still, 2010 brings the self-titled record rearing its head finally.
On first impressions and approaching newcomers, you’d expect with a name like Death In The Park and the impressions depicted on the album’s cover that what’s held on the 10-track record is nothing short of heavy and/or brutal. As the old saying goes “never judge a book by it’s cover”, as what you’re faced with instead is just over half an hour of pop-rock/pop-punk. Familiar fans may be disappointed however, with a lot of the tracks already being featured on the band’s 2008 EP.
Still, Andy Jackson‘s vocals are what shines most on this album, managing to melodically gruff aswell as swoon pop-rock sensibilites above a more refreshing than most crunching and chunky guitar base track-after-track by guitarists Derrick Karg and Ronnie Gardner. ‘Pitifully Exposed’ steadily builds into what is a pretty rock solid pop-rock effort, showing the perfect balance of melodicy and firey crunch from Andy‘s vocal chords. Paramore‘s Hayley Williams lends a helping hand in ‘Fallen’, offering an extra force of female vocalisation that bulks up the song’s chorus lines, and ‘Sway From Death’ has got all the pop sensibilites to invade mainstream radio stations. The more stripped down ballad-esque ‘Oh You Know’ brings in an array of strings with the steady acoustic guitar and subtle drum underline, before plunging us straight into the synth intro that leads into closer ‘Walk Away’.
The problem with this album though is that the ideas here, as good as they are, are used over and over again and bring across that Death In The Park were running on empty despite the huge time gap between EP and album. This is only further enforced with reused EP tracks shoved onto the album. Still, this self-titled record is a valiant effort and isn’t quite your usual cliche run-of-the-mill pop-rock/pop-punk record.
Written by Zach Redrup
Founder & Editor for DEAD PRESS!