Across Five Aprils hails from Chattanooga, Tennessee, an unlikely home for a post-hardcore band. They formed in September of 2001 and have been forging their own direction ever since.
The band released a pair of albums on Indianola Records (A Tragedy in Progress in 2003, and Collapse in 2006). They have since signed a deal with Victory Records with Life Underwater being their debut on the larger stage.
Based on their sound and successful tours with the likes of Underoath, Norma Jean, and Atreyu, they seem poised to make a national splash. Whether or not that happens remains to be seen. If I had my way, they would likely head back home for some overhauling before returning as, perhaps, Across Six (or Seven) Aprils. Get it? Man, I can be funny.
It has been awhile since I have come across an album that was quite so divisive. I'm not talking about fans of the band, or even the genre, I am just talking about me. For some reason, listening to Life Underwater made me angry. Yes, you read that right, I felt the ire rising from deep within me, bubbling to the surface and threatening to overflow onto the stove of my keyboard.
If that sounds like just a little bit over-reactionary, I do not disagree. I am at a loss as to completely explain why I had such a reaction, as I have heard worse albums. Much, much worse. But it just happened to be Across Five Aprils that became the target of my physical reaction. I admit that it is completely unnecessary and unwarranted. Some involuntary reaction deep within my being kicked in and threatened to overrun the logic that usually resides within my mind. Fortunately, I was able to keep control as I wrote this review.
The main source of my problems can be boiled down to two words, Brandon Mullins.
Now, it is nothing personal. I am quite sure he is a cool dude who would be more than happy to sit down and talk about the band's music, their direction, and the scene in general. My problem is that I do not like his voice. Simple as that. I think his voice is terribly whiny and flat out annoying. I feel that his style does not fit the music here. I hear his voice and every fiber in my being just wants to turn the music off. The sound grates on my nerves, and overshadows the rest of what they have to offer.