Reach The Sky
Friends, Lies, and the End of the World
Call it unprofessional, but damned if I can remember what transpired on Reach the Sky's debut, So Far From Home. Somehow, though, methinks it was a brazen display of wearing-yer-hearts-on-yer-sleeves semi-emo, semi-good hardcore, most apparent/transparent influences being Dag Nasty, Gorilla Biscuits, and Lifetime (especially). So call Friends, Lies, and the End of the World more of the same, but the same being better executed and produced (I think) this time around, still pretty much sounding like a half-baked yet slicked-up batch of Lifetime demos – scrappy drums often-futilely trying to keep apace with the quickened chug of the guitars when the going gets gone, melodies walking the line between the memorable and the merely merry, gang-chorus sing-alongs that adeptly evade roughneck-ness – "demos" being an infinitely kind word here, mainly because Lifetime would've wisely left such a batch of songs on the cutting-room floor. Still, damned if I don't believe the kids will absolutely eat this up, which isn't too harsh of a proposition or reality, because, again, Reach The Sky's sophomore platter can really rip it up when it wants to (see album highlight "Stealing My Soul"), but perhaps such a statement bespeaks more about the state of hardcore than the album's aesthetic value. Go figure – professional.
Victory, PO Box 146546, Chicago, IL 60614, http://www.victoryrecords.com
Nathan T. Birk