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Just Surrender - If These Streets Could Talk

Just Surrender, If These Streets Could Talk

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3 out of 5

NEW York’s Just Surrender have emerged as a fiery cross between early Sum 41 and contemporary My Chemical Romance and Brand New. Their debut UK album If These Streets Could Talk arrives off the back of having sold 25,000 copies in the US and Japan.

It’s an OK effort, brimming with power hooks and skyscraping choruses – but it struggles to escape the notion that it’s not really doing anything different in what’s fast becoming an overcrowded genre.

The band’s rise to fame began in 2003 with the recording of a four track EP at Nada Studios in New York, home of esteemed producer John Naclerio (of My Chemical Romance, The Audition fame). When it was placed on www.purevolume.com thousands of people tuned in every day – 400,000 a month in fact.

It prompted Naclerio to sign them to his Broken English Records label where they recorded If These Streets Could Talk. And the ensuing collection of songs has placed them on the cusp of the big time.

It explodes to life with I Can Barely Breathe, a power anthem of rousing vitality, and continues with the equally lively Of All We’ve Known. But while the no-nonsense riffs and stadium-filling sound is certain to attract the attention of fans of My Chemical Romance and Hundred Reasons, for that matter, the album settles into a routine far too quickly.

The songs are delivered with conviction but many adhere to the same formula and things quickly become boring.

Tell Me Everything teases with an opening riff that hints at more melody, before careering into another power track, and is followed by In Your Silence and Our Work of Art.

It’s not until What We’ve Become that the album shows any sign of slowing down and the ensuing track makes for a refreshing change, confirming that the band can write slower, more meaningful efforts that put melody and clear vocal layering to the forefront. It’s no classic but in the context of the album as a whole, it’s an easy highlight.

Likewise, penultimate track Is There No Truth In Beauty, which almost seems to be taking its cues from the acoustic, Noel Gallagher sung offerings of Oasis, not to mention some of +44’s slower efforts. If anything, it’s the standout track on the long-player and hints of greater things to come.

Guitar-wise, Just Surrender sound very accomplished and they clearly aspire to rocking the biggest stages. If nothing else, If These Streets Could Talk sets them well on their way…

Download picks: I Can Barely Breathe, Of All We’ve Known, What We’ve Become, Is There No Truth In Beauty

Track listing:

  1. I Can Barely Breathe
  2. Of All We’ve Known
  3. Tell Me Everything
  4. In Your Silence
  5. Our Work Of Art
  6. What We’ve Become
  7. You Tell A Tale
  8. Forgotten Not Forgiven
  9. Is There No Truth In Beauty
  10. She Broken My Heart, So I Broke His Jaw