REVIEW: Acceptance – Phantoms

It seems like every time a band changes members their music suffers. Just listen to Acceptance’s new album.

With a new label and a polished look, Acceptance is back in the scene and spinning around in the trenches with their new album Phantoms. The five piece collective, known as Acceptance is made up of Jason Vena (vocals), Kaylan Cloyd (guitars), Christian Mcalhaney (guitars), Ryan Z. (bass), and Nick Radovanovic on drums who replaced Garrett Lunceford. With their faith and their love of music, the pretty boys of Acceptance have come together to make a sound so blatantly dishonest with riffs repeating throughout their new album. Now, the album is not entirely bad. It does have a certain charm to it. It is indeed catchy and has the potential to grow on you, like a leech or ringworm. Okay, so maybe not that bad.

Phantoms is painfully unoriginal, drenched with lines of circular Rock ‘n’ Roll and bubblegum beats. Acceptance emulate (or would ‘copy’ be a better word?) the power pop chords of Jimmy Eat World, as if accidentally on purpose, with their new album. Instead of filling the empty seconds with what can be only “popular” radio tunes, they, in turn, give up on creativity. What makes this album worse for the wear are the sad, no-second-thought-needed lyrics that round out the foggy plucks, looping drumbeats, and quivering vocals. “You’re everything I’m wanting. Come to think of it, I’m aching. On account of my transgression, will you welcome this confession?” on “So Contagious.” “We stop waiting and I start going home. You don’t have to follow. Take this call as a hint we’re moving on” in “This Conversation is Over.” “I’m getting over you. I’m getting over you. The place it takes me now, is it far enough? I’m getting over you. Make this now or never” on “Over You.” These are just a few of the word

s plaguing this makeshift album. Although each song is bloated with spirituality and positive messages, Acceptance is a bit unconvincing in their emotions that it is hard to believe they feel anything. So much for the new Emo craze.

Maybe Phantoms is meant to fall short of the heartache and despair that “Emo” bands are suppose to exude. Hey, maybe they aren’t even Emo (although their snazzy attire is misleading). Unlike their seven-song EP Black Lines to Battlefields, the band’s new album is Hollywood wounded. The spontaneity of the bruise is pearling polished and flawless, the broken emotions that are suppose to seep through Jason’s vocals are missing in action, and the over-the-top guitar riffs, as well as their mini-epic instrumental “Ad Astra Per Aspera,” does nothing but turn the listener away.

I give the album a 4 (out of 10). Like the title, Phantoms is sure to be presence lost and only felt. But hey, at least they got it out there.

Release Date: OUT NOW

By: Annamarya Scaccia – Contributing Writer (2005)

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