Withdrawal - The Perfectionist Blacklist
For debut release, this is amazing. Nothing short of amazing--and you should expect nothing less--due to the twenty month recording process that took place.
The album does open weak, with "Macroscopic," but uniquely, it's not due to it being a bad song, it's just not an exceptionally powerful start.
Blacklist does pick up with "Decompression," which introduces you to the intensity Jason Dodge can elevatw his vocals to. Lyrics like "I get some/some of the time" are clever and also add to the excellent feel to the song.
Through the album the keyboards and drums astound you--the astonishing intro into "Oil & Water" use the keyboards to great effect. Todd Crayton's horns on "I, Claudius" are an amazing contribution to the song.
"Stalker," easily my favorite song on the album, show guitarist Jared Rushton strumming the power chords with Jason Dodge exercising the same intensity mentioned before.
The album has amazing lasting power--not only that, but it's so enticing to the ears, you will play again and again, and not get bored. It's that good, that intense.
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on 2007-04-29 mschmitt Said:
Debuts are tricky things. New bands trying desperately to find their place in the musical world, to gain a larger audience and possibly even pick up a bigger record label. In many cases this makes a band’s first CD jumbled and confusing, touching on a variety of different musical styles, trying to reach out to a variety of different listeners. Withdrawal’s debut album, “The Perfectionist Blacklist”, is guilty of this trait. Rising out of Fullerton, California, the alternative quintet is certainly unique. Their songs all have impressive moments, little climaxes and melodies where the guitars swell and the symbols crash and a chill goes down the listener’s spine. “Oil and Water” is a good example, it begins with a breath-taking guitar solo. Fast, driving, complex, it grabs the listener’s attention. Added in is a fast repeated vocal line, that sounds more like another instrument than someone singing. The song fails to impress however, due to the length and the chorus vocals. The song dives into a slow, somber sonic mush that loses the attention that was gained earlier in the song. In addition, the chorus vocals are delivered in an annoying way, with a whiny fall off after every line. While this is emotion-filled and expressive to be sure, these vocal falloffs lose their effect when they are added to every line. This is a consistent problem with the album, the band has just added too much. The majority of songs are over four minutes, and do not stay consistent in tempo, volume, or theme. Too much musical wealth has been forced into one song, and the result is a confusing, uninteresting mess. Withdrawal has potential, they just need to find their sound, and stick with it. Songs such as “I, Claudius” and “Oct 23” are worth listening to, but they could be so much better. Withdrawal is unique, has potential, and could be blockbusters if they trim back everything but what is truly necessary.