Earshot – Two (CD)

Perfect music for the Clearchannel new-rock radio and Mtv, Earshot mix Maynard’s voice with the guitar assault of bands like Disturbed and Linkin Park. Each track on “Two” has been perfectly mastered to give the sound of the disc an anti-septic feeling that rings hollow to anyone but those teenagers who are pissed because mommy and daddy took away their freshly-bought Hot Topic choker. Each track is cut from the same piece of cloth, meaning that there are incredibly few stand-out tracks: everything just mires in the muck of over-distorted guitars and raspy, Aaron Lewis-like vocals. Now, when one just looks at “Two” in a purely aesthetic sense, the album is pretty strong in the sense that vocals spill out that are eminently recallable as well as, dare I say it, catchy? However, when one stumbles into the completely unoriginal “Someone”, I would personally be amazed if any random listener could figure out whether the track was done by Earshot, Trapt, Chevelle, or Puddle of Mudd. Coming through a listen as a critical listener, I can’t honestly see where the band has any initiative in trying to come out with a new product. However, “Two” will sell well, because the aural experience that one has when listening to the album is extremely favorable – I found myself nodding along with the disc at quite a few moments, and it would be a perfect disc which to work out.

“Two” brings up a serious question. Is a disc successful because it is critically acclaimed, or because it sells a shit-ton of copies? I’m sure depending on who you talk to that the answer would be different. It is not as if the members of Earshot picked up their respective instruments a week before recording the album; rather, there are times on “Two”, especially the Soundgarden-influenced “Nice To Feel The Sun”, where the arrangement of the deftly played instruments really cannot be beaten.

If I heard a track like “Again” on The Blitz or The BIG WAZU, I can’t lie – I would probably download it. The hooks on the song are absolutely absurd, but the fact with this disc is that it honestly sounds like four or five other bands. While the tracks might be well-arranged and catchy, there is nothing here for the listener to grab onto and say “oh, that is definitely Earshot”. If the band can forge boldly out and create their own sound while still keeping the highlights of the band at the current time, I have no doubt that they will be one of the most proficient bands at whatever they choose to do.

Top Trakcs: Nice to Feel The Sun, Goodbye

Rating: 5.9/10

Earshot – Two / 2004 Warner Brothers / 11 Tracks / http://www.earshotmusiconline.com / http://www.warnerbrosrecords.com / Reviewed 17 July 2004

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