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Phantoms

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Album Review

Seattle's Acceptance jump to Columbia for Phantoms, after EPs for Rocketstar and Militia Group. ("Permanent" from the latter reappears here.) It's a sound very similar to those earlier records — heavily influenced by the smooth lines and urgency of Jimmy Eat World, with an alternative CCM bent. Acceptance don't get down for the screaming-guy-behind-singing-guy template that so many 21st century emo-ish groups use — no, Phantoms is slick and melodic, drawing its tension from the careful multi-tracking of Jason Vena's vocals and layers of guitars. Producer Aaron Sprinkle gives Acceptance the full Tooth & Nail treatment, where the songs have all the buoyancy and plead in the world but no chance for grit, and fans of that sound will gravitate to "Take Cover," "In Too Far," and "Over You." Acceptance appear to be very earnest about their music. They include a brief instrumental piece, "Ad Astra Per Aspera," and sing things like "Time shows us that all that ever mattered leaves us in the cold," which may leave listeners wondering what they really mean.

Biography

Formed: 1998 in Seattle, WA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Few bands from the early-aughts emo/pop-punk scene have a legacy as mythical as Acceptance. The band only released one LP before breaking up, and yet that album went on to become a cult classic, helping them amass a fan base so loyal that it remained devoted through a decade of the band's silence. When Acceptance emerged during the mainstream emo heyday in the early 2000s, they set themselves apart with catchy melodies, big choruses, and arena-sized singalongs, incorporating a harder rock edge into...
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Phantoms, Acceptance
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