Josh Page
contributor
July 20, 2006
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Rock Music Reviews
Gatsby Gets the Green Light
Choose Your Own Adventure

It is hard being a new band nowadays, approaching strangers on the street (as was how I received this album), forcing them to listen to your music and persuade them to fork over five (or two after some haggling) bucks in exchange for a six song EP. Gatsby Gets the Green Light, a four piece alternative rock/emo/pop-punk group from Maryland are currently working the club playing/street begging circuit that many of the greats have worked. The problem is, they sound too much like the greats that did this before.

Choose Your Own Adventure is like someone attempted to repaint the Mona Lisa in complete neon colors. The outcome would be entertaining for a little bit, but still be the same work of art, just a little less stellar. The guitars are standard pop-punk, jutting in and out of verses that feature lyrics that we have all heard before. The vocals sound very much like they belong in the background of the latest Taking Back Sunday record, but are still surprisingly strong (one of the better aspects of the album). There is also a rather refreshing rhythm section on "Look Alive and Ready" and "Under the Sheets" which both featuring solid bass lines and tight precise drumming.

Gatsby Gets the Green Light have the groundings of a good album here. They show the spunk and eagerness that is needed for a pop-punk band to succeed. The problem is that the band seems to get lost in the smoke of their contemporaries. Also, having a name that is easily confused with the more established Gatsby's American Dream doesn't help either. They have got talent and this is an EP, so they can't be completely knocked for the repetitiveness of this album. A band's first EP is used to help get their name out there and work out the kinks in their music before they attempt a more polished project...they are not expected to be perfect. However, The market for pop-punk bands is getting tighter as the years go on, and with more defined acts like Fall Out Boy, the Academy Is... and Motion City Soundtrack working the scene, it will be difficult for smaller acts like Gatsby Gets the Green Light to get the attention they need to be successful. The positive aspects of this album are a good start, now they need to take these and use them to evolve into a more unique sound.

Release date: June 23, 2006
Label: Independent
Rating: 3.5 / 10

[RMR]