Acceptance – Phantoms Review

1. Take Cover
2. So Contagious
3. In Too Far
4. Letter
5. Different
6. Ad Astra Per Aspera
7. This Conversation Is Over
8. Over You
9. Breathless
10. In the Cold
11. Permanent
12. Glory/Us

In this age of insipid, pre-packaged, MTV-ready punk-pop emerges Seattle’s Acceptance. With their slick studio sound and good looks, Acceptance bears little resemblance to their punk forefathers like The Ramones, The Clash, and the Sex Pistols. But in an age of bands like Blink 182, Sum 41, and Good Charlotte, Acceptance fits right in.

The problem with their solo debut, Phantoms, is that it sounds like everything else out there. Slot them on the radio and there’s no way for you to separate them from the pack. They have no definitive sound, nothing to cull them from the herd. Play “Over You” or “Breathless” and see if you can tell if it’s Acceptance or Simple Plan. Give “The Letter” a spin and see if you can tell that it didn’t come from New Found Glory.

That’s not to say that it’s a bad album, because it isn’t. Singer Jason Vena has a decent voice that carries well through the hook-filled guitar work of Christian Edwin McAlhaney I and Kaylan Cloyd, and the rhythm section of bassist Ryan Zwiefelhofer and drummer Nick Radovanovic hold their own. And the tunes are catchy. But so are the tunes of every other punk-pop, emo band out there. And, in the end, that’s this band’s problem. Nothing they do elevates them from the crowd. 10 years from now, when people talk about the punk-pop movement, Acceptance will be about as remembered as Britney Fox is when it comes to hair metal.