Newly signed to Vertical Shift Records, Out Of Ruin is a new rock band founded by brothers Gram and Ben Messer. Their Vertical debut, What I Can't See, is merely a rehashing of the band's indie album, Mosaic Soul, with only a slight change in track listing.
The album starts off on a high note with four excellent tracks. "This is We" and "Lifting Me" are midtempo pop-rockers with catchy tunes and nice lyrics. "Broken Pieces" is probably the hardest track of the album, musically speaking, with its crunching guitars, and upbeat feel. Especially impressive is its use of metaphors---God picking up your broken pieces and reforming them into a "mosaic soul." "What I Can't See" is a lighter rock track. While it doesn't quite fall into ballad territory, the song has a slower pace. The middle of the album mostly runs together. A few of the songs are catchy at best, but nothing particularly memorable or special. For the most part, Out Of Ruin's style sounds too similar to fellow pop-rockers Jars Of Clay to produce anything unique. Besides a few certain moments (like "Broken Pieces"), the lyrics seem to fall into typical Christian territory. The songs rarely venture into anything more than typical clichés.
The album picks up again on the last few tracks, but is disappointingly not enough to redeem the whole album. "Alimente El Corazon" is the album's only instrumental song. With a latin-influenced feel, this song gives listeners a break from their now-tired pop-rock style. The other standout, "Only Half," is a catchy ballad that closes the album and is Out of Ruin at its finest.
All in all, Out of Ruin has a good thing going for them, but this album fails to show it. As a whole, the album has been done before, and gets boring after the first few songs. What I Can't See is likable at best, but Out of Ruin does little to develop their own sound, much less, a place in the music industry.- Review date: 6/6/08, written by Matthew Watson
Record Label: Vertical Shift Records
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