The Juliana Theory
Dropped by Epic following the disastrously overproduced Love, The Juliana Theory comes out swinging with Deadbeat Sweetheartbeat, an unapologetically white-knuckled take on its trademark emo-punk. Vocalist/songwriter Brett Detar has clearly been listening to his Guns N' Roses records: Booming drum fills and snarling vocal turns abound. The guitars swarm and buzz on tracks like "French Kiss-Off" and "Shotgun Serenade," giving the Pittsburgh band a menacing edge that was previously lacking. On the most superficial level, Deadbeat is a success -- delivering the group from emo's syrupy stylistic trappings. However, even the band's heaviest sonic swipes can't distract from weak underlying hooks and occasionally embarrassing lyrics ("I know it's you I can't forget/Bang bang shoot shoot"). The Juliana Theory's newfound might is all surface, no depth.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.