ALBUM: We Are The In Crowd – Best Intentions

Release Date: October 31st, 2011
Label: Hopeless Records
Website: www.wearetheincrowd.com
MySpace: www.myspace.com/wearetheincrowd

Rating:

The one (well, not the only thing) thing that I hate about female fronted pop-rock bands is the instant Paramore comparison, no matter how irritatingly similar the lady in question may be to Miss Williams. However, now that the P-word is out of the way I can get down to business. We Are The In Crowd attempt to stand out from the crowd with their supposedly distinctive dual vocal arrangement, and whilst it is supposed to make their repetitively dull songs more interesting, it all just comes out sounding rather predictable.

Despite setting out to try and not use the P-word again in this review, it is impossible to escape as the squeaky clean ‘Rumour Mill’ “roars” into life as front woman Taylor Jardine sounds like she is purposely impersonating Hayley Williams. Being one of the singles from the album, it is exactly what you’d expect; inexcusably highly polished, twinkling radio friendly pop-rock. So, having given it a chance, you’d expect the album to get better, however, the band frustratingly stick rather rigidly to the pre-determined formula of the genre and provide the listener with predictable, if nothing else, run of the mill pop-rock. Surprisingly, co-front man Jordan Eckes‘ vocals are steady and quite powerful throughout, especially on ‘See You Around’, which lends the question as to why they use the female vocals too.

As far as the album goes, there’s nothing you couldn’t find on a Hey Monday or New Years Day release; a large number of upbeat, power chord driven sing-alongs, a few slower ones and the standard whiny ballad (see ‘You’ve Got It Made’). Whilst a lot of their songs run the line between being distinctly average and being poorly executed, ‘On Your Own’ falls into a third category entirely of its own; above average. However, that’s as far as their good song writing goes, as everything on this album could and most probably will be a lost in a sea of bands attempting to imitate this very style.

This album is everything you’d expect it to be, nothing more or nothing less, right down to very last power chord, which is perhaps why listening to ‘Best Intentions’ is so frustrating, because everything they do is competently done and strangely enough their dual vocal arrangement does work, especially having such a strong male voice in the mix. No doubt there is a market for this sort of music, and no doubt it will sell reasonably well and I’m sure it will not be the last time we hear from this band, but to make an album of real worth I think they need to take a few risks and move away from the radio friendly pop-rock by numbers.

Written by Oliver Thompson