American Princes: Little Spaces

American Princes
Little Spaces
(Yep Roc)

Little Spaces starts a little shaky and formulaic, but ends up showing more originality than anticipated. The faster tempo songs feel forced, but the slower numbers end up being well worth the listen.

I started listening to the album and immediately assumed, based on the lackluster first song, that this band would end up sounding like every other rock band with a pseudo-punk edge – and many songs do follow that familiar layout with repetitive chords and a screaming lead singer bordering on whiny. This seems to be the standard for the “rock” songs on the album – fast-paced and loud with lyrics apparently added as an afterthought. The slower songs do add a glimmer of hope, though, in an otherwise monotonous album.

The ballad-y numbers (and there are quite a few) actually display some originality. “Providence, RI” not only demonstrates more powerful music, but the lyrics actually have something to say. This song, and songs like “Eyeliner” and “Revolver,” saves the album from a descent into the mainstream rock doldrums.

Little Spaces is not an album for hardcore rock fans – the lead singer is just a little too high-pitched and the music is just a little too commercial. On this album, it’s the slower songs that offer the appeal. Hopefully, the next album will show as much promise on rocks and ballads alike.