The Early November – The Room’s Too Cold

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Album Review by Mark Bayross

The Early November? Could that be the sound of emo looming over the New Jersey horizon? Do they breed these bands in a test tube over there or something? Still, you can’t really fault a talent like Ace Enders, a left-handed guitarist who taught himself to play on a right-handed guitar.

A deal with Drive-Thru Records, 15 line up changes, 180,000 downloads on mp3.com and one critically acclaimed EP (FOR ALL OF THIS) later, and Ace and his band (Jeff Kummer, Sergio Anello and John Dubitsky) release their debut album, THE ROOM’S TOO COLD, to an expectant public.

The Early November (so called because of the unpredictability of the changing of the seasons) play with light and dark in a similar way to Thursday, Taking Back Sunday et al, although the quiet moments serve as more than just a counterpoint to the heavy here. So, while the likes of SESAME, SMESHAME and FLUXY don’t skimp on punk energy, songs like the acoustic MY SLEEP PATTERN CHANGED and the string-backed opener EVER SO SWEET add a real sense of pathos to Ace’s heartfelt lyrics.

Plus, the band have a deeper bag of sonic tricks than many of their more straightforward peers: THE COURSE OF HUMAN LIFE explores the quiet / loud dynamic with deft precision, while the lush EXCHANGING TWO-HUNDRED fizzes out in a flurry of electronic and guitar effects. Bizarrely, one band I’m most reminded of is The Smashing Pumpkins – not an emo progenitor, I know, but hey.

Rounding off the package is a bonus DVD with live footage (one acoustic song, one very electric song) and a short, intermittently amusing, documentary on the making of the album.

In all, an impressive debut, with the range and maturity of sound to suggest that this band should be with us for the long haul.

5 stars