Call me old fashioned, but I take my Emo straight.
That's why I got excited when I first learned that Dashboard Confessional's
latest, The Shade of Poison Trees, would be a return to its acoustic
roots. Of course, what we get instead is more of the same; The Shade of
Poison Trees takes the elements of their breakthrough 2000 album The
Swiss Army Romance and churns out what could easily be that album's leftover
Maybe I've just grown out of this Emo rock thing, but The Shade of Poison
Trees doesn't have much to offer. The album sticks to the diary confessional
lyrics, and even uses some of the same guitar riffs that have been run into the
ground by Dashboard Confessional and their corporate rock clones. Case in point:
"Keep Watch for the Mines" starts out with a guitar riff reminiscent of
"Screaming Infidelities," and "Little Bombs," sounds a bit too familiar as well.
The album starts out with "Where There's Gold," and Christopher Carrabba
declares "Step on the stage, the lights, the praise / the curtain calls and the
big parade." A great start to the album and the song's not that bad either.
"Where There's Gold" is the first indication of Dashboard Confessional's return
to the stripped down, unplugged sound. But from then on, the music starts to
sound the same. "Fever Dreams," for example, resorts to the cheesy indie-pop
drum track heavy guitar strumming on beat, with lyrics like "fever dreams / they
can only haunt you / 'till the fever breaks." What?
Of course, being an Emo album and all, the tracks are awfully short. The longest
track on the album clocks in at a whopping 2 minutes 58 seconds, and the album
only has 12 tracks. At first listen, you'll get so lost in the droning guitar
work that before you know it, it'll be all over. It feels more like an EP than a