Signed to Universal, Recover will likely be a major gauge of how big an emo-related band can get. Unlike the legion of schmucks aimlessly aping At the Drive In, the Texas quartet is one of the few bands of its ilk that conveys emotion without simultaneously creating the impression it's painfully constipated. No calculated angular guitar complexities. No primal screaming. They just rock the hell out, though their latest, This May Be the Year I Disappear
, predictably falls a little flat.
With real money at stake, their overpolished major-label debut veers toward conventional modern-rock harmonics -- guitarists Dan Keyes and Robert Mann play like they can blow a hole through a brick wall, but the album has less blast power, more melody. Swimming in tape loops, "Push Push" was stunning on 2002's Ceci N'Est Pas EP, but it gets glazed over on the new rerecording. Fortunately, The Man isn't there when they play live.