Gotee Records has never been a label to major in just one genre. John Reuben, Flynn Adam, and newcomer B.Reith round out Gotee's hip-hop leanings, while Ayiesha Woods and Stephanie Smith contribute to the label with their pop flavorings. But on the indie-rock side of things, much acclaimed House of Heroes is being joined by quartet Abandon Kansas, and while their debut EP We're All Going Somewhere doesn't compare well to the genius of House of Heroes, it gives us a good introduction to the band and what we can expect from them in the future.
The whole project has a sense of familiarity around it, but at the same time, it's hard to justifiably call it unoriginal. Abandon Kansas's sound (at least to me) is quite comparable to that of Tooth & Nail signees Jonezetta, especially in the vocals. Jeremy Spring sounds strikingly similar to Jonezetta's Robert Chisholm; in fact, they are so similar, I often forget I'm listening to a different band. The lyrics overall are kind of simplistic and not all that profound. Lyrics like, "I could use two lives/think of the things that we could get done/having two lives would be so much better than one/one for the things I have to do, one for the things I really want to" ("Make Believe") don't necessarily dig very deep. It's not bad, but it is hard to take it completely seriously. The single "I Wonder If It's Me" doesn't escape this quality of lyrical content either, but it's probably the best track on the EP. With pop/rock peppiness, it keeps one's interest the whole way through.
As the EP progresses, the tracks tend to run together a bit. It's unfortunate, because this band has quite an indie record behind them. With previous experience, one would have liked to think the band would fall into fewer holes than most debut bands, but it doesn't seem to be the case. I cannot really call the EP poor or even mediocre, however. Perhaps a full album of Abandon Kansas's work would have been a better choice for their debut, as that would better test how versatile the band really can be. However, for what is heard here, it's a good collection to sample the four-piece without laying down too much money.- Review date: 9/6/09, written by Roger Gelwicks of Jesusfreakhideout.com
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