The Rise, The Fall, and Everything In Between is a full-length made for the digital age. It’s an album that is ripe for love it/hate it analysis, in turn, it’s something that I just can’t seem to entirely wrap my head around. Six of the ten songs on the CD are rip-roaring persuasions of melodic hardcore. For the most part, it’s safe to say that these songs are catchy without being lame, and heavy enough to blend well into the band’s early discography.

By comparison, the other four songs are “Charlie Sheen in Major League” wild pitches. Not only out of the strike zone, but sitting somewhere between home and third. “Phase Two” is endemic of what The Distance are capable of writing when they want to sound downright furious and compelling.

The Distance have all the right tools to write, fast, aggressive songs, but too often on the album the temptation of the overt melodic hook gets the best of the band. The biggest offenders are “Inspired by You,” (a track so alarmingly annoying that I thought it was a joke when I first heard it) and “Let It Rain,” which features an ‘80s style cheeseball chorus gone askew – oh my freakin’ ears!

The one song that seems to capture the duality of The Distance’s new sound is “At Least I’m Good At Something,” which includes guest vocals from The Used’s lead singer, Bert McCracken. Here, the band doesn’t try to shove an unwieldy melody down your throat and the strong guitar work gives it a pretty huge backbone to rely upon.

“Broken Promises” has a hook that sounds like it was sugar-coated by Willy Wonka, but the song isn’t short on intensity overall. The Distance are crankin’ on the opener “The Set Up,” and the ninth tune “Before It’s Gone,” but too much inconsistency in the band’s direction obscures the impact of the better material. The over all sound of the CD is really good, but could have been recorded a bit better… but over all it’s alright! I give this CD 7.5 out of 10.  [ END ]

Track Listing:

01. So Far We Are
02. Also Ran
03. Cloche
04. Knee High
05. Keep It Amazed
06. No Mean Time
07. Basement: D.C.
08. England Just Will Not Let You Recover
09. Hey I Wait I
10. Go On

Run Time: 33:59