Label: Equal Vision
Released: May 13, 2008
The presense of Chiodos’ Craig Owens and Bradley Bell will likely lead listeners to expect that band’s bold and expansive offshoot from hardcore, but nothing could be further from Cinematic Sunrise. This project replaces punch with pop and challenges with safety. While that might not make every Chiodos fan happy, it at least gives this side-project a purpose and life of its own.
Cinematic Sunrise leans heavily on 80s pop style and production values and mixes it up with more recent emo crunchiness without creating a harder sound. Whether they’re drawing on 80s piano-pop or folk-pop along the lines of the Church, it all taps into that long tradition of teenage drama songs.
These songs are all well-played, but lite and that begs the question: Is the material believable? The hooks make me want to believe, yet they’re just so slick that there’s that nagging feeling that there isn’t much under the surface. Perhaps the answer comes on the EP’s final track, “You Told Me You Loved Me.” It rings about as true as “Sister Christian” and makes me think more of those K-Tel collections from the 80s that compiled “rock’s sensitive side.”
While the songs are well-crafted and the packaging (see below) shows a great sense of childlike fun, in the end they are, like the band’s name implies, ultimately just an image even when they seem beautiful.
All that being said, I did catch their set on the Warped Tour and the music has some teeth live. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still nothing like Chiodos, but some of the slickness is tempered by hints of edginess and a lot of good-natured fun.
If you’re curious about my rating categories, read the description.