Carson Daly ruins everything. Seymour Glass’ debut album “Note to Self” is also the debut release from Carson Daly’s label, 456 Entertainment. The album itself doesn’t unequivocally suck. In fact, there’s evidence of good song-writing; there are some irresistibly catchy hooks, a nice integration of piano and some strings into what could be pretty straightforward copycat emo, lyrics (while bordering on cliche sometimes) that managed to throw a few punches and surprise me.
All of this gets buried, however, underneath a spectacular example of overproduction. At worst, the effects on songs like “Broken” and “Thorazine” are so overused that they become at once valueless and the most prominent featrue of the song. At best, the jazz piano in “Trigger FInger” is relatively untouched, if a little too smooth, making that song one of the high points of the album. “Trigger Finger,” along with “CPR” and “Rocket Science” demonstrate the band’s ability to seamlessly integrate the jazzier sounds of piano and strings with the band’s rather run-of-the-mill watered-down hardcore.
“Note to Self” isn’t a bad album, per se. It’s worth checking out if you’re particularly interested in the lighter side of hardcore or the harder side of jazzy pop. There’s potential here, potential that I can only hope will be realized with a later album that’s less produced and more raw.