Review: The Promise Ring

The Promise Ring
“Wood / Water”

The Promise Ring sounds like Radiohead with a little Jets to Brazil thrown in for good measure.  At times, this can be a really good thing.  Take, for example, the opening track “Size of Your Life,” where different elements of blues, jazz, punk, and folk are all blended seamlessly together with esoteric, distorted lyrics forming a distinctive, driven sound.  After about three songs full of TPR’s unique, audio-smorgasbord however, the consistent, pseudo-emo act begins to wear a bit thin.  While ex-labelmates Jets to Brazil are able to balance post-hardcore rhythms with more experimental effects, TPR seems to get bogged down by their own creativeness.  More than a couple of tracks on “Woodwater” could use a shot of adrenaline to shake things up a bit.  Nearly every one of the twelve songs could qualify as a lullaby–hardly the ambitious effort it seemingly could have been.  While far from being a great record, “Woodwater” nevertheless incorporates enough unique material to satisfy diehard fans.  Whoever they may be.