Album Review :
Sumerlin - Motives

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Artist: Sumerlin
Album: Motives
Label: None
Release Date: March 6, 2012
Reviewed by: Cimarron Hatch
Buy The Album Here

Tracklisting:
1. Take What You Want
2. Walking Statues
3. Just A Dream
4. The Fallback
5. A Heart in Pursuit
6. Waiting On You
7. Illuminate

Sumerlin is a five-piece band based out of Wilmington, North Carolina. The band members are: Dan DiGiovanni, Tyler Klee, Logan Tudor, Chris Taylor, and Joshua Mace. Their new EP Motives is set to release on March 6, 2012, and it is sure to draw attention from fans of the music performed by Anberlin.

Just from the first few bars of the album’s starting song, “Take What You Want,” I was immediately reminded of Anberlin’s sound from their Never Take Friendship Personal release. As a big fan of Anberlin, I enjoyed that familiar sound at first, but as Motives wore on to the next song, “Walking Statues,” I realized that there was no original sound from this band. That opinion continued with the song “Walking Statues,” which reminded me a lot of the tune of Ursa Robotica’s song “The Price of Ignorance,” except without anything catchy. The third song “Just A Dream,” which can be downloaded for free from the band’s Reverb Nation page, had interesting lyrics in the chorus, saying: “Is it just a dream / or reality? / can I wake up, wake up / to find a light inside of me?”  But the second verse disappointed me by having a melody and lyrics very close to Trapt’s “Echo.”

The fourth and fifth tracks off of Motives, “The Fallback” and “A Heart in Pursuit,” continue the Anberlin-esque sound of the album. Both songs are enjoyable, but unfortunately “A Heart in Pursuit” took the Anberlin sound too far by having the same guitar riffs as “Paperthin Hymn,” just in a different key. The final two songs, “Waiting on You” and “Illuminate,” both have riffs that sound a lot like those from The Dangerous Summer’s song, “The Permanent Rain,” but the latter song, “Illuminate,” attempts to achieve some originality for the band by talking about meeting someone (presumably God, in this case) and feeling complete right then and there.

Overall: I liked this album quite a bit; I’m just very disappointed that the band does not have much originality at all. It is possible that having an unoriginal sound could be marketable in the music industry right now, considering most songs seem to sound the same any time you turn on the radio. I was also disappointed that Sumerlin saved the only standout song of the album, “Illuminate,” for last, because I was impressed by its lyrical depth and it was starting to create a new sound. In my opinion, there is a way to be “influenced” by various bands without copying their sound as much as this band does. My hope is that Sumerlin will continue to work on creating their own sound and come out with an album that will blow listeners away.

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