The debut LP by Connecticut-based Forget Paris creates a sense of dualism. It truly invoked a duel-reaction, at least for me. On the one hand, the album was good at first glance, however after a while, it seemed like one of those been there, done that kind of feelings. It seemed to be full of hackneyed ideas. Yet, somehow those same clichés that have brought down so many albums over the years are actually what makes this album really fun to listen to. It’s funny; the album is far from innovative, yet still sounds really fresh. How it manages to do that, I have no idea. Give the guys lots of credit though, they take a genre that has seen a sensory overload in the last ten or so years and even with the inherent limitations of the type of music they play, found a way to create a really interesting album.
A huge part of what makes this album go is the musicians creating the music. The entire band is truly talented on their respective instruments and really takes the whole pop-punk/emo genre and gives it a refreshing twist. There is something to be said about a band making music that is not particularly groundbreaking in its lyrical/instrumental context but are still able to make it not appear to be boring. There are about ten billion other bands out there who sound like Forget Paris that I have heard over the years, but really they are one of the better bands of the genre. For what it is, it’s a pretty good album.
The general feel of the band really begins with the lead vocalist. Not that the other guys aren’t important, after all without music, it’s pretty much some guy randomly singing. But…the singer is vital to any band’s sound. The good news is that Tyler Cohen can actually sing. He’s not like Brad Nowell but is pretty good. Imagine Julio Marin from Glasseater, but with a bit higher range. It just fits the music. It’s always good when the singer fits with the rest of the band. Very often there will be singers who can sing well…but sound bad with a certain band or vice-versa. Cohen fits this band like a glove.
The backbone of this band is actually drummer Nick Forte. It’s not as if he is really breaking new ground with the drums, but he really sets the beat and does a pretty damn good job of it. He is probably at his highest point on Hold Your Breath, which happens to be my favourite song on the record. The opening 30 seconds or so of the song shows off the fact that guy can play…simple as that.
In any rock band, the guitarist needs to be mentioned as well. If he sucks…then the band is in serious trouble. Adam Ferrari though, doesn’t suck. In fact, he is probably the only guy in the band who does some things with his instrument that could be seen as different then most of the bands out there. He seems to mix a bit of Joseph Marro and Jack O’Shea and throws in his own style to create something unique.
There are some negatives in the album however. Everything is not perfect for Forget Paris on this album. First off was the issue raised earlier with the general style of music the band plays. Also, I hate to say it, but Mikey Martone is average for the most part as a bassist. He’s way better than many others out there, but compared to the rest of the band, he’s probably the weakest link. In most bands, he would be seen as one of the better members…not so in this band. The songs also sound the same after a while which isn’t all that uncommon on most current records.
Overall, the general feel of the album is a good one. It’s well-played, well-produced and just overall a good listen. It should also be mentioned that the album was dedicated to a friend of the band who recently passed in an accident. Forget Paris is a band with a really bright future if they keep making albums like this.