Driver Side Impact’s debut album, The Very Air We Breathe, is something of a gross disappointment. Opening with chugging riffs and throwback harmonizing guitars, it quickly falls prey to the awful fate of simple beats and unimaginative melodies. What starts out with power and verve almost immediately deteriorates into just more of the same radio-friendly, angsty-but-safe pop with vengeful overtones. What had the potential to be dangerous wastes no time in disavowing any such notion.
At precious few times electro-funky like a pale simulacrum of Franz Ferdinand, DSI loses what impact they might actually be capable of by never attempting to venture outside of very conventional pop strictures. Mostly this is an album of uninspired songs with a plethora of layers that, for their great number, still somehow fail to disguise the flatness of songwriting within. With nothing attention-grabbing and nothing that places DSI apart from their peers, The Very Air We Breathe is solidly middle-of-the-road. It’s like emocore Muzak, so effectively does it fade into the background when listening to it. It’s thoroughly by-the-numbers. Not only does it not achieve any new heights for the brand of self-important emocore that it seeks to imitate, it doesn’t even try to do so. This album will be a winner with anyone who appreciates bands who don’t try to push the envelope at all. The rest of us are better off passing this one up.
To sum it up: meh.