The Continental Divide
Sarathan Recordings (2009)
Well, it could have been a lot worse.
I got a fat packet in the mail of promotional materials and this CD, The Continental Divide by War Tapes, a pop/hard rock outfit hailing from Seattle, WA. The Continental Divide, besides being the true primary divider between East and West coasts, is a fast-paced and maybe a little dance-y rock ‘n roll record that definitely brings to mind a mix of the Goo Goo Dolls and Franz Ferdinand. The press release says that the band describing themselves as “heart-quaking doom pop”. I don’t know what the hell that is, but the pop aspect is definitely spot-on, this is something that I can see the club and bar types digging on.
I have to say that the dueling male/female vocals work quite nicely as well, something I’m kind of picky about. Still, the big thing is that there just isn’t anything original here, and while that can be excused sometimes, the fact that I’m sure I’ve heard the vocal sound and style somewhere else is just too much. I’m pretty sure I could sort through my record collection and various songs culled from the radio and MTV and mainstream alt-rock outlets and pick out where different elements came from. It’s not bad, it’s just…not really that good.