"Morning Over Midnight"

(Virgin Records 2006)Fivespeed - Morning Over Midnight

Have Fivespeed paid their dues? Virgin Records seems to think so. The Arizona quartet and Warped Tour alums make their Virgin debut with "Morning Over Midnight." With having already released a full length album and an EP within the past few years on other labels, Fivespeed have a new beginning in "Morning Over Midnight." Trying to find their balance between delicate ballads and crunching hard line instrumentation, Fivespeed have upped the ante on "Morning Over Midnight" by reaching for a mainstream appeal.

Power rock with a definite pop sensibility, guitars drive and drums crash on "Fair Trade" and "The Mess" as the band flexes their muscles, pushing the dynamics of each song up and down, seemingly more for effect than anything else. A surprisingly poppy and guilty pleasure sort of moment comes through on "Blame It On You" and the textured ballad "Touch Of One," as the band tone down the aggression for a softer approach, shows Fivespeed's ability at balance and restraint. Elsewhere, "Vegas" pounds and churns on incessant guitar as "Drive (Field Guide)" soars on thundering instrumentation.

With a rough voice that makes you wonder if this is what Blink 182's Tom Delonge would sound like if he were in a alternative metal band, Fivespeed's singer Jared Woosley's voice seems almost not strong enough at times to carry his band's songs when compared to the band's aggressive power riffs. But in the end, while Fivespeed might some instrumental proficiency, "Morning Over Midnight" is anything but a fresh approach on a popular sound.


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