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The Expanding Universe

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Album Review

The second album by New Jersey pop-punks Let It Burn balances between radio-friendly bubblegum punk of the Green Day-derived school (lead singer DJ Values even has the classic faux-British accent) and the somewhat edgier sound of emo-tinged post-hardcore. It's a mixture that shouldn't work, but most of Expanding Universe does a surprisingly effective job of finding a middle ground between blink-182 and Coheed & Cambria, with songs like the bouncy "From Jersey With Love" leaning more toward the former and the acoustic-tinged hard rock of "Clenched Fists" (the opening of which sounds bizarrely close to that of "Dust in the Wind" by Kansas) the latter. The problem is that the album's other nine songs are points on this same continuum, and by two-thirds of the way through the album, the songs are bleeding into one another much more than they should. Expanding Universe isn't a bad album, but a greater grasp of dynamics and arrangement would help the band considerably in the future.

The Expanding Universe, Let It Burn
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