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coverpic flag US - California - Full Moon 111 - 10/17/05

Gratitude
Gratitude
Warner Music Group

After first listen you're going to wonder why resident songwriter John Mantangra disbanded his old outfit Onelinedrawing. Your answer won't make any sense because his new, astonishing, renagade band of So-Cal drama kings are just what he was trying to avoid in the first place: the emo tag. This only proves, once again, the bastard son of post-Grunge, Mope rock, and Hardcore is still the stickiest and sappiest boys club that no one wants to a member to. That said, their debut plays like a sensitive Rubber Soul with extra whamburgers to go around. They flirt with the Joshua Tree momentarily on "The Greatest Wonder" in an awkward attempt to make an ocean of mutual conceit and reverb out of a kiddie pool of cliches. Fortunately, like the rest of the weakpoints on this album, it juusst barely fits. "Drive Away", and "Last" makes for a good wait between Dashboard albums, while "This Is the Part" can really get the headbanging going. At least Gratitude allows Mantangra to expand in small doses, which is probably all he wanted to do in the first place.

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