We Are The In Crowd

Best Intentions

Written by: TL on 25/10/2011 16:41:36

Okay, let's just get it over with. It's probably possible to write an introduction to an article about Poughkeepsie quintet We Are The In Crowd without mentioning Hayley Williams or Paramore - I guess you could talk about their unfortunate choice of bandname for instance - but some times, I think it's best to just address the issues that are most obvious right off the bat.. And let's face it, with singer Taylor Jardine sounding so mini-Hayley it hurts, these pop-rock hopefuls are not likely to escape the comparisons any time soon.

Hence if you enter this, their debut LP "Best Intentions", having never heard of the band before, just imagine Paramore, subtract the slight edginess they do after all display, and add some male backing vocals from the voice of guitarist Jordan Eckes. Maybe soften up the expression a tiny bit and add Disney quality production to the equation, and you should then have a pretty good idea about what goes on here. Is something like that going to blow your mind or tug at your heart strings? Probably not, unless you're a wide-eyed, relatively easily impressionable high schooler, but with bundles of bright sunny riffs and tunes, it might just give you some catchy songs to sing along to and put you in a good mood. The question is: does it?

The answer then is: Well, yes it does, at least on occasion. Songs like "Rumor Mill", "Exits And Entrances" and "On Your Own" highlight how WATIC can indeed write a bouncy and immediately engaging pop-song, the kind of which you will have learned the chorus to halfway through your first listen. There's that and then there are also a couple of decent ballads in "All Or Nothing" and especially "You've Got It Made", both of which you can also get to know and appreciate quickly and without much effort on your part.

Now, it's not like there's a huge drop-off in quality from those five songs to the five that remain on the album - in fact, WATIC seem all too consistent in applying the traditional pop-rock formula for the duration of the album - but that however, is also their problem. When directly compared to Paramore, which inevitably it will be, it's clear that "Best Intentions" seldom shows a similar spark or charisma, the kind of which would make you feel like there's something at stake in the songs and hence encourage you to come back to the record later on. Instead, the edges on this band are smoothed out so much, you'd be forgiven for occasionally thinking of acts like Kelly Clarkson or Lady Antebellum while listening, although their swollen pathos is here replaced with more youthful energy. Eventually though, "Best Intentions" feels like a record of mere candyfloss-rock, even if it is a solid and well-made one at that, with a few catchy 'hits' and then some merely decent filler for the rest.

Download: Rumor Mill, Exits And Entrances, You've Got It Made
For The Fans Of: Paramore, The Narrative, Hey Monday, Kelly Clarkson
Listen: facebook.com/wearetheincrowd

Release Date 04.10.2011
Hopeless Records

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