Social Code | He Said She Said (Fifth Season Music)

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cd_social-code.jpgIt wouldn't be out of the question at all to find these guys popping up on MTV or your local "new rock" radio station.







So I slide this into the CD player, not knowing what at all to expect from Social Code. I'm trying to keep an open mind, but the band's photo on the back cover keeps staring at me, taunting me with done-up spiky hairdos and tough-guy poses. It looks like I hope it won't sound. I warily press play, and I'm hit with a loud, processed wall of guitar. At first, the sheer power of the riffs, along with a pleasant raspiness to the singer's voice, makes me think, "Hmmm, this isn't so bad; maybe I was wrong about these guys." While Social Code sport a clear, dynamic sound—spiky and highly melodic—they're also relentlessly slick and unnervingly radio-ready. The EP-opening title track is fine as a one-off, full of shouty vocals and a couple of interesting shifts in tempo to go along with the choppy guitar leads. But then there's four more songs; I'm already tired of it.

It wouldn't be out of the question at all to find these guys popping up on MTV or your local "new rock" radio station. They're clearly ready; this is professional stuff. The question is: What do they have going on to truly distinguish themselves from the dozens of other bands treading such a similar path? As far as I can tell, not much, simply competence and the odd acoustic guitar thrown in to augment a few songs. Ultimately, He Said She Said will instantly please fans of this type of mall-ready emo/hard rock, but at the same time, there's not much here to change minds or win new converts to the cause. C | Mike Rengel

RIYL: early Get Up Kids, Fall Out Boy, Linkin Park without the rapping

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