01. Sight to Frame
02. Roots Beneath Ideals
03. Pierce the Veil
04. Enlarge Your Hearts
05. The Process of Losing and Gaining
06. Failure is Relative
07. Shallow Pockets
08. The Well of Tradition
09. Staring at Backgrounds
10. Color Your World
2004 Equal Vision Records
Presently, there is a fine line between what is considered punk and what is considered mainstream. Granted, I'm no expert on what is mainstream, and I won't pretend to know all the "hip" bands that are out right now. What I do know, is that, when I'm at a friend's house, watching MTV or another music channel, I see some real garbage that is passed off as punk. Bands like Story of the Year and Yellowcard don't do anything for me, except make me see the final nail being driven in the coffin of punk rock. Now I suppose there are more and more bands following the formula for success, and the music suffers. San Diego, CA's Before Today comes across as a "punk" band that is trying to shoot straight to the top, regardless if the music works or not.
Perhaps I'm a jaded prick, but there isn't a single redeeming quality about this new genre of "punk." My friends call this stuff "MTV punk" and maybe they have a point. If you aren't familiar with this, then I'll break down the basic formula. You get some kids that can play their instruments and have them write mediocre melodic punk songs. You have one or two hooks throughout the whole album that are somewhat catchy, and make sure the lyrics are fairly sappy. It doesn't matter if the vocalist can sing or not, and then have some "hardcore" screaming in there because it's "different." That pretty much sums up Before Today's newest album, A Celebration Of An Ending.
The only thing that is different about this band than what I've heard from the others, is that these guys seem to have a bit more energy, and play faster songs. There is some flashy guitar-work going on at points, but it's nothing to get excited about. The vocalist has a Saves The Day type of thing going on, but even more annoying. The "hardcore" screaming is just disgusting, and sounds like an eight-year-old girl getting beaten with a flaming baseball bat. These songs sound uninspired to me, and make me think these guys have listened to one too many Saves The Day or New Found Glory records.
The production is actually decent, but the vocal melodies sound nearly fake, so I don't know if the engineers doctored up this guy's voice in the studio. This CD didn't come with lyrics, and it's probably just as well, because I can make out some stuff, and everything is just as bland.
Bottom Line: I can't come up with any reasons to recommend this album to anyone. I've had it with this kind of "punk" and it's just getting worse. I'm not sure what Equal Vision was thinking by signing this band (maybe they saw dollar signs, maybe not). I'm sure the girls in San Diego love this band, and who knows, you might see Before Today headlining the Warped Tour next year.