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Mighty melodies compete with
emo-tipped arrangements

Permanent Me - After the Room Clears
(Stolen Transmission)
2 1/2 stars (out of 5 stars)
Reviewed: Feb. 10, 2007
Permanent Me

Review by Andy Argyrakis

The roots of Long Island's Permanent Me date back to being called Yes, Virginia until the Dresden Dolls came along with a CD title bearing the same name. After the dust settled from that debacle, the foursome found themselves crafting a demo that eventually found its way to Stolen Transmission Records, along with a celebrity fan base including members of Midtown, Sum 41, and Panic! At the Disco. The former's influence is present on the group's debut album as are ample splashes of Jimmy Eat World, featuring production by Matt Squire (Panic!, Cute Is What We Air For).

On one hand, the disc has its fair share of surging power chords, mighty melodies and instantly hummable choruses, such as "4 a.m.," "Heartattack" and "Dead To You." Front man Brian Kapler is especially convincing come the Weezer-esque "NYC," while lead guitarist Joe Guccione lays down several thick fisted riffs come "Until You Leave." The album's finale "20 Years" is also one to resonate during a personal stereo experience, but is even more likely to translate into a chant heavy concert sing-a-long.

Unfortunately, there's several less appealing examples weighed down by rote, emo-tipped arrangements and trite topics, such as love struck silliness of "Allison," which was first found on the group's indie EP (featuring mixing by Sum 41's Deryck Whibley). The cliche ridden "Friday Night" also gives way to commonplace, while Kapler leans way too close to wussy whimpering come "Blackjaw." While the black marks aren't enough to completely discount the album, they do over shadow some of Permanent Me's promise, though upcoming dates with Cartel, Cobra Starship and Boys Like Girls will hopefully iron out the kinks.

Watch Permanent Me's "Dead To You"

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