Crash Parallel's Sunset In Reverse

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Release date: February 8th, 2011
Genre: alternative rock

Well, so much for being busy. Beautiful local music is such an inspiring thing, much more exciting than any science concept or law case. I warn you, the length of this upcoming review is exceptional. But the album is deserving.

"Wake Up": Oh, lord; it's 2008 all over again- Tim Edwards's voice has not changed at all. The opening lyric starts with "so", so predictable. I wish the track had a stronger sense of tonic to stabilize the chorus, but besides that, I find it reminiscent of Three Days Grace's closing track- "Life Starts Now". Only lyrically, of course- calling for the listener to "wake up, for the very first time to something special" because "it's the first day of the rest of your life". By the way, Rob Benanzon? You're presence has been severely appreciated.

"Fight Through It All": I'm sure that it seems wish-washy and generic at first, but up close, this song is not thoughtless at all. A little bland and uneventful, perhaps, but it succeeds at all the adult alternative brilliance that is Crash Parallel. I don't know of many other bands who can take a theme such as inevitable death without sounding like an adolescent strain of emo.

"Disappear": Like World We Know, the unity of Sunset In Reverse is obvious; I mean, it's almost essay-like. The percussive stubbornness enforced by Jon Fedorson is a welcome new feature, albeit obnoxious at times. I honestly can't tell if Edwards's sings has own chorus harmonies, but I'm a fan of whoever does sing them. Although I was previously unclear of this, these guys are 100% aggressive piano rock. (On the other hand, I suppose you could also call it passive mainstream rock.)

"See Right Through Me": Unfortunately, there's another Canadian band with a great track of the same title- they're called Mobile. Unfortunate, because I tend to compare songs of the same name. This was disastrous in 2007 for Hedley, who'd just released "Never Too Late", thus removing any chance I could've had with them and their scratchy, commercialized... stuff. Now, the Mississaugan "See Right Through Me" is considerably more repetitive and cheesy than the Montreal "See Right Through Me", but it's not bad. It carries a natural catchy sweetness, and I wouldn't have imagined some of the vocal phrases, but hey- they went there.

"Want You More": Haha, this track- I remember it (and its appalling artwork). What can I say, it's got a funky lilt to it that is new from the (now) quintet. Country is still a far stretch, but the influences are definitely noticeable. Just smile; I know you can't help it, either.

"Still Won't Let You Go": Another vocal opening; the distinctive characteristic of many piano-rock styles is that the accompaniment is merely an accompaniment. There are not stand-out instrumental cadenzas, no addictive bass line. (Ooh, exception: "Mountain Man" by Crash Kings? Yes.) This characteristic also renders an album disengaging after about 15 minutes, so the tentative, soul-scouring falsetto on this track is an instrument I've latched onto to provide some variety.

"In My Bones": A little forced, but I'm liking it. Despite the simplicity, there's a little more oomph in the drumbeat and bass. A guitar ostinato can be heard (I think, or at least imagined) throughout the choruses, getting a little spotlight at the end of each.

"In Your Eyes": Poetic relationship between the two song titles, huh? Edwards's ventures into soft vocals on this one, as well. I've decided to like them as they don't hold that slight, recognizable flatness off his regular tone. Dan Saitua's got a nice guitar riff going on in this one, too... shame it's not more frequent. The song sure is long enough for it- "In Your Eyes" nears five minutes, the longest on the album.

"Changing The Weather": I've already talked about this lead single, because it's been out for over a year now. It never got much- if any- airplay, which I hope it does upon this release. Re-release it, for heaven's sake. It's listenable, very radio friendly, and would break into the pop accounts in a similar fashion to Vancouverite State Of Shock's "Money Honey" did back in 2007.

"All Around": This, apparently, was also released early on in the production of Sunset In Reverse, though I believe it was also removed early on from iTunes and other music sites. So this is the first time for me hearing it for more than 30 seconds. I can see why they changed their mind about it, as well; overall, "All Around" is all-around sound. (Actually, it sound like it could be from the "Love, Actually" movie.) But there are definitely better single choices on the album that represent the band and their music better. This would've been misleading, in my opinion, because it 's different from a lot of their other material and there isn't a demand for diversity, there's need for a good return single.

"Is Everything Alright": I wonder what the lyrical inspiration for the song was; I imagine there may have been an injured relative/significant other/friend. I'll comment briefly on the detached, staccato bridge; I think that's been the most contrasting moment in the entirety of Sunset In Reverse. They chord progression on keyboard is detached throughout, but it's most noticeable when joined by the vocals.

"Sunset In Reverse": Crash Parallel just rip themselves off? I got momentarily confused before concluding- it's a good chorus; the instrumental accompaniment is entirely different; and who cares if it's similar melodic theme? If I had to choose one from the last album, that would be it. And, we finally get that guitar solo finish we've been waiting so patiently for. And fuck, we want more of it. No pressure, dears, but a note for your next release.

From left: Dan Saitua, Jon Fedorson, Tim Edwards, Gary Rugala. Not pictured: Rob Bezanson. Photo by Claudia Matteau of Live N' Loud.