The Fatal Mistake play a brand of emo-punk music that is reminiscent of “1039”-era Green Day just as it looks toward the throaty vocals of Tim from Rise Against. The drums immediately stand out, whether it is through the time keeping of the opening track “Best Befriend” or the opening to the title track. What really comes as a surprise is Russ’s blistering-fast bass lines on the latter track, which really provide a nice polish to a track that might otherwise be incomplete. A comparison that is made often of the band is that the lead vocals on many of a track during “Die Trying” sound almost as if Matt Skiba is lending eir own distinct style of singing. “Ambivalence” mixes a good helping of American pop-rock (Three Days Grace, Papa Roach) in with Hootenanny-era Replacements to keep things fresh.
“All In Vain” is a track that maintains the soulful vocals that can be found throughout the disc, but the breakdown of the instruments at times throughout this track leaves the vocals vulnerable and shows that they are just not strong enough to stand up without any instruments backing it up. What really shows itself as the biggest mountain for The Fatal Mistake to climb is the extreme power that their influences have on the creation of their own music. For example, “Big Picture” is a take that desperately tries to break away from the enforced reductions in tempo but gets sidetracked with the same type of Alkaline Trio-type blandness and a very rough sounding ska breakdown on the track. The only thing that saves the track then is Russ’s bass line, sputtering through like there is no tomorrow. While the disc itself is mastered well, there seems to be a bareness that surrounds the lead vocals throughout that really tends to diminish enjoyment of the disc.
Perhaps it was Gavin Monaghan’s decision, but the key problem with “Die Trying” seems to be that the vocals are up a mite too high, making the backing instruments unable to be discerned. However, this problem is largely negated with the existence of radio-friendly tracks like “Stay Together”. The track has beautiful imagery and easily-recitable lyrics that will ensure that when an individual listens to the track, chances are that ey will not forget it. The music on “Die Trying” is for the most part fun, but the main point of advice that the band needs to take to heart is to move away from being so directly influenced by the bands that have processed them.
Top Tracks: Die Trying, Stay Together
The Fatal Mistake – Die Trying / 2005 Stitched Up / 12 Tracks / http://www.thefatalmistake.com / Reviewed 07 June 2005