steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Return to Sender

"The Grand Exposure" CD

Five One, Inc.

Genre: indie rock, rock

Provo, Utah

Oct 30, 2008

Utah's Return to Sender is a slick rock band in love with fast-paced rhythms and angular guitar lines. This is an excitable record that is perhaps a bit too glossed up, but with an energy level akin to The Rye Coalition, Atombombpocketknife, and At The Drive-In, RtS aren't all bad. The Grand Exposure's forty two minutes end up working against it, as this type of high-urgency music is best absorbed in smaller doses. Still, the band clues into some promising things here. Jumpy "The Fast Track" is devilishly fun in all its exuberance, while "Perspective" boasts a wicked little chorus. Meanwhile, "This is a Nation" is the album's epic - a varied and fun rock song with a dynamic energy. Of course, the news isn't uniformly great. "X_Men" has a nice quiet little guitar bit but is ultimately nothing more than screamy alt-rock melodrama, while "Spit Me Out" and "Lights Out" seem targeted at the barely pubescent Fallout Boy democratic. On the other hand, "Dutch/Boyz/Dance/Floor" is an adorable attempt at homing in on the hipster demographic, but its attempt at stylish dance-punk is annoyingly serviceable and seemingly exploitative.

It is evident that Return to Sender's best songs are those that rapidly shift from phase to phase. These folks are talented musicians, and The Grand Exposure's better tracks are epic and memorable. Their urgency can become a tad overwhelming over these forty-two minutes, but when listened to in smaller increments they aren't half bad. Still, if this record had pared down its less impressive moments, it would have been a lot more enjoyable.

RtS's myspace


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 11 tracks, distributed by the label, released Aug 5, 2008]