The Early November/Rx Bandits
I like the new Early November triple disc more than the new Rx Bandits CD.
The Early November
The TEN CD is a grand project. The third disc (The Path) serves as a kind of therapeutic rock musical. The story lines on all three discs are cohesive and well-thought out, as is the music. I think the first disc (The Mechanic) captures the essence of the times, in terms of "smart" pop/punk (as opposed to Fall Out Boy) and the 2nd disc (the Mother) has a more timeless pop/rock quality to it. "Decoration" is an excellent song - the pop/punk song of the year.
The new RxB CD is weird. It feels like it has no melodies, but there are three part harmonies all over the place. Now, there are songs that sound really good and parts of songs that sound amazing, but as a whole, it's too prog-y. I liked it when they ventured more towards the pop end of the spectrum (Rich, why did you ever quit?). I wasn't expecting Progress part II. I got over that with the last album. There are more vague political references than straight ahead finger pointing. There are enough strong spots on the CD, but still. Too many jarring key changes and arrhymic (Is that a word? It looks funny.) transitions that kick the flows of songs right in the shins. Anyway, I still recommend it. I still love this band.