Long Since Forgotten's latest offering is a combination of rock resonance, pop overtones and gleeful melodies. The result, as you may have guessed, is another conscientious brand of emo-indie tunes, complete with penthouse-level production compliments of the renowned Ed Rose, who also lends additional percussion and programming to this spring semester score.
Building on the harder rock resistance of their past - one that began only four years prior - and the harmonic elements commonly offered up by traditional AOR practitioners, Long Since Forgotten's overall sound is crisp, clean and serious all the way.
Tracks such as Don't Ask Why and On My Way place the listener right in the middle of the troubled relationship, with an extra emphasis given to the catchy chorus and a pain-easing 'been there before' lament that lessens the blow for all concerned.
The chapter-closing Euclid Crashed is an acoustic ballad that stands out thanks to the graceful addition of shared vocals from Ettison Clio's Stephanie Gunther, while Around Again employs the catchy vibe of a meaty three-chord progression that breaks into a done-to-death community chorus.
Long Ride Home rides an opening reverb over a languid tempo and sea-dragging vocals, while Another Song - the close of which also briefly features Gunther's vocals - is worth mentioning for its up-tempo style and sing along quality.
In all sincerity - a trademark quality of Long Since Forgotten's latest - seven of the album's thirteen songs raise it above 'also ran' status, but some of the other tracks - Looking Glass and The Getaway for example - need not have applied. With too many tracks, redundancy sets in to the point where we've heard it all before, and there is no real incentive pushing us to keep listening, and nothing striking enough to push the band beyond sophomoric - particularly amongst name brand competitors such as The Get Up Kids and The Anniversary.
If we are to define emo for what it is - melodic, soulful guitar rock with thoughtfully mature lyrics - then Long Since Forgotten are good at what they do. The question is, can Standing Room Only not just compete with but surpass the expectations previously set by some of Long Since Forgotten's peers? Close, but not quite.
:: Vinnie Apicella