Turn on your radio and flip over to your local alternative station. Close your eyes and let the music hit you. Now tell me, in a half-hour, 45 minute block, can you really tell the difference, one song to the next, in the handful you just heard? With a few exceptions, they all sound the same. Unfortunately, Mae, with the Aug. 14 release of Singularity by these Virginia Beach, Va. based rockers, have done nothing to be one of those exceptions, fitting in seamlessly with your average 30 minute alternative radio block.
Not that this album is bad, there’s just nothing overly remarkable about it either. It’s bland, like vanilla ice cream. Nothing wrong with vanilla ice cream; it’s safe and easy – you know what you’re getting, you’ve had it before and with Singularity, you’ve heard it before.
The opening track, “Brink of Disaster” screams “Hearing Things” from Moth’s 2002
Provisions, Fiction and Gear while “On Top” borrows its opening riff from Sonic Youth’s “Tunic (Song For Karen)” from Goo By their own admission, the guys where influenced by bands they heard growing up.
"We've always loved bands like Pearl Jam, U2 and the Smashing Pumpkins and on this record we wanted to tap into that," drummer Jacob Marshall said. "We weren't trying to recreate a '90s record, per se, but we definitely wanted it to have that same energy."
Perhaps they were going for the energy but instead of homage, Singularity comes off more like bad pastiche.
Maybe I’m getting too old, hearing this band in that band - everything is cyclical I suppose. But there are enough new bands out there breaking ground with their sound, (B.R.M.C. comes to mind) challenging preconceptions that I just don’t think that’s it.
For younger music fans, without ample years to have developed a discerning ear, Singularity will probably work just fine, there's nothing offensive about this album and some of the tracks have a good groove to them. But just like vanilla ice cream was great until the first time you tried bourbon walnut chocolate - suddenly, vanilla just doesn't cut it anymore.