Oh, the mid-to-late 2000s. A time when the alt-rock fan lexicon was shifting from "emo" to "scene," and the lyrics of Taking Back Sunday dominated online status updates.
Incendies' Try Not to Think About It EP is something like a time capsule from that glorious age of heavy pop punk. From its moody lyrics to distortion-heavy breakdowns, the EP is a shockingly accurate recreation of the sounds you'd hear from the local band opening for Thirty Seconds to Mars circa 2008. Incendies know this, and they embrace it wholeheartedly.
But while accessible, the blatant familiarity of Incendies is also their biggest stumbling block. Whether by design or not, Try Not to Think About It rarely presents any musical ideas that haven't been heard on albums ten years its senior. At times, the songs on the EP hardly even manage to differentiate themselves from each other, with four of the five tracks having almost identical intro riffs. By the time the fourth track, "Saturday," rolls around, the lyrics "Where it starts and where it ends / It's all the same to me," unfortunately encapsulate the album listening experience.
Although a fine tribute to a dormant genre — one that fans of the style might enjoy reliving — the commitment to this sound ultimately leaves the EP feeling dated. There's nothing offensive about Try Not to Think About It, but despite what its title asks of you, it'll be hard to shake the thought that you've heard it all before. (Independent)