Album Review :
FM Static - Critically Ashamed

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Band: FM Static
Title: Critically Ashamed
Label: Tooth & Nail
Release Date: 8/1/06
Review By: Josh IndieVision

Tracklisting:

01. Hope the Rock Show Goes Good
02. Flop Culture
03. The Next Big Thing
04. America’s Next Freak
05. Tonight
06. The Video Store
07. Girl of the Year
08. A Nice Piece of Art
09. What It Feels Like
10. Waste of Time
11. Moment of Truth

Members/Duties:

Trevor McNevan: Vocals/Guitars
Steve Augustine: Drums

In case you’re unfamiliar, FM Static is a side-project of Thousand Foot Krutch members Trevor McNevan and Steve Augustine. They debuted in 2003 with “What Are You Waiting For?” to a warm response and high sales. Inevitably we would see another disc from there and now in 2006 we are given “Critically Ashamed”. The great part about side-projects is that since it’s not your main project, there is a lot less stress. This time the guys were able to just focus on putting out a fun, feel-good record.

“Flop Culture” is a great pop track, plain and simple. It’s light feeling and bouncy beat lead the way, remiscienct of Weezer’s Blue Album. The clapping actually adds to the enjoyable feel. The song obviously talks about where music is now and why it’s way different than it used to be. “Six Candles” I honestly didn’t care for at all. A simple rock song, it feels out of place and has a more serious tone than the opener. I skipped to the next track after 1 1/2 minutes. “The Next Big Thing” should have been track #2 or well #3 if you count the intro. This song will instantly remind you of Blink 182’s early big hits and is as enjoyable as those tracks were.

“America’s Next Freak” is another tongue-in-cheek take on the laughable music and cultural scene today. It’s more mellow than the other 2 hits but is still amusing. “Girl Of The Year” is another Weezeresque catchy tune with goofy lyrics as well.

Standout Tracks:

“Flop Culture”, “The Next Big Thing”

Overall Rating: I’m not ashamed, no pun intended, to say that I like alot of “Critically Ashamed, but I’ll be honest in saying, I feel that there are some songs that are just mediocre. I think they’d do better to keep things upbeat and light. The ballads and more serious tracks are boring and I find myself hitting next. There are definitely a few hit singles here and overall it’s a good listen.

Individual Ratings:

Marketability: Obviously the band has already made a name for themselves with their debut. It certainly helps when you’re in Thousand Foot Krutch, a band who has been able to have crossover mainstream success as well as taking over the Christian market. A completely different feel from the harder TFK, this album could certainly garner them the same attention and in my humble opinion, it definitely should. With the goofy, yet ridiculously catchy lyrics, and the bouncy music this is bound to be a hit. Throw in a goofy video and they could take over MTV.

Production: Nothing much to say. It’s put together well and fits the band’s simple stylings.

Vocals: Occasionally Trevor’s vocals can get old (like Simple Plan, etc), but there’s enough variety to keep that from happening to often. I definitely prefer his stronger vocals on this album to his quieter singing on the ballad-like tracks.

Similar To: Weezer, Everclear, Third Eye Blind, Good Charlotte

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