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When Excuses Become Antiques

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Album Review

Some call it screamo; others call it post-hardcore, melodic hardcore, emotional metalcore, melodic metalcore, or nu-core. Screamo is perhaps the most popular, widely used term for the style, but whatever term one prefers, the screamo/post-hardcore/melodic hardcore scene became more and more saturated during the early 2000s. One screamo band after another emerged, including Phoenix Mourning. The Florida combo was formed in 2004, and by April 2006, Metal Blade had released its debut album, When Excuses Become Antiques. This by-the-book effort follows the familiar screamo recipe to the letter; tortured screaming vocals are contrasted with clean vocals, and elements of metalcore-style savagery are contrasted with clean melodies and swirling guitars. The clean vocals are pretty; the screaming vocals are anything but. Calling the screaming vocals metalcore-style vocals isn't to say that this album is actually metalcore — that would be sledgehammer bands such as Hatebreed, Throwdown, Brick Bath, and NDE — and it isn't emocore or emo, either, even though screamo bands often dress like emo bands. Borrowing some terminology from avant-garde jazz, one could say that discs like When Excuses Become Antiques favor an inside/outside aesthetic — the inside being the conventional melodies, harmonies, and vocals, the outside being the extreme elements — while metalcore is totally outside and emo is totally inside. Phoenix Mourning does a competent job pulling the inside and outside together on this CD, and some of the tunes are catchy enough. But unfortunately, the Floridians' material isn't terribly memorable — competent, yes, but nothing mind-blowing and nothing that sets Phoenix Mourning apart from countless other bands that jumped on the screamo/post-hardcore bandwagon in the early 2000s. Neither the best nor the worst that screamo has to offer, When Excuses Become Antiques isn't a bad album, but is far from an essential contribution to the ultra-saturated screamo scene.

Customer Reviews

Don't listen to People who don't know music

This album is amazing, the structure of the music is extremely well thought-out. There are MetalCore, Old Metal, Nu Metal, Rock, Classic Rock, And even some of the good parts of emo in this peice of art. The vocals are hard, their are well sung, and the screaming is not overwhelming, it is precise and melodic. The guitar is great!The dual lead intros and dual guitar choruses will rock your world! Don't listen to these other reviews! The people are great, and the clarity of the music is amazing, the recording is stunning, and there is no haze in the songs. I listen to every song, i don't skip around like I have to on other CD's. Great buy, go for it, and u will not regret it.

Not Innovative, But Not Bad

OK, I can see how people could bash this album. It's not exactly original in any way, from vocals to lyrics to instrumentation, but you cant deny that its some good music. Innovative? No. But aggresive, energetic, and skillfully done. Also, am I the only one that thinks that Contrast is easily the best song on this album?


Went to alot of local shows back in the day!!! now these guys have an album!!! You wont be let down!!!! I have waited forever for these guys to come out with an album and its finally here!!! get your hands on it!!!! Alls i can say is these guys are amazing!!!!

When Excuses Become Antiques, Phoenix Mourning
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Customer Ratings