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5 out of 10
For some reason I thought Sky Tells All would be a much harder prospect musically than they are, I didn't think they'd be brutal tech-death-metal, but I was expecting possibly a bit more crunch. Maybe it was the name which has a hardcore ring to it, or the provocative fight-call EP title, but the vocal effects on "My Thank You Letter" and the cover of Taylor Swift's "Love Story" put it in a different league altogether. Don't judge a book by its cover, we all know that, but we still do.
Signed to the terribly named bheROCK Records (owned by boxer Roy Jones Jr) Sky Tells All are pop-rock through and through. Think of an amalgamation of the likes of We The Kings, Barely Blind, Callahan, Danger Is My Middle Name and Student Rick and you might be thinking of the right musical beast.
On the plus side tracks like "Another Break Up Song" and "Talk Now " are catchy, bouncy, light-hearted sing-along songs that breeze past and will make you tap your foot to the beat, but there are unfortunately downfalls to this style of music that Sky Tells All step into too frequently.
The production, whilst adequate, isn't quite there yet. The vocals are slightly flat overall in the mix, the drums a touch 'clangy' with too much cymbal ringing and not enough punch and it just lacks a certain ear-bending quality that it should have. Whilst I, more than most, love a ruddy good melody and a touch of pop-rock the main issue is that a band can make a "good" record but just get lost in the seemingly endless pile of similar natured bands out there if they don't have something unique going for them. This might be a unique vocalist, case in point This Providence, The Robbery, Go Radio, Inkwell, or simply out and out ace songs such as You, Me, And Everyone We Know, All The Right Moves, The Bigger Lights. Sadly Sky Tells All don't really muster either.
The stand out track on "Go Ahead, You Try It!" is the last track "Love Story" which as previously mentioned is a cover of the Taylor Swift version. Now, I personally think this was a good pop song to start with, and this version simply has the addition of a rock band behind the song structure which I whole-heartedly approve of, but something's clearly amiss when the stand out track is a cover in my opinion.
Apparently Sky Tells All used to have their roots in the screamo movement and fitted in with that style at the time, and whilst I'm not saying a switch back to that is necessary, perhaps taking sections of the aggression, the passion from that and fusing it with their current pop-rock vibe would create a more appealing prospect overall? For now Sky Tells All's EP "Go Ahead, You Try It!" is good, a solid stab at pop-rock, but nothing more and would get lost in the sea of bands if they don't build on this early start and create something altogether sharper next time around.
1. Mine To Hold
2. Another Break Up Song
3. This Was Your Fairytale
4. Smells Like Fireworks
5. I Do
6. Talk Now
7. My Thank You Letter
8. Love Story