Pilot Speed Wooden Bones

The press release for Pilot Speed's new album, Wooden Bones, reads like a cross between the lead singer's autobiography and an open letter of excuses for the band having gone pop. While I think this pre-emptive apology is a little unnecessary, certain songs do sound a little too much like a chilled-out All American Rejects for a band claiming to produce "art rock with hooks." They also seem to be ruining their good songs in the pursuit of pop themes and structures; "Ain't No Life" sounds particularly promising before the annoyingly repetitive and over-emotive chorus kicks in. It's not that there isn't a good amount of talent exhibited here but it's much too forced, ending up being too washed out and grey, to have any effect on the listener. The vocals sound too detached from the instruments, the lyrics seem uncomfortable within their lines and the whole vibe of the album seems off somehow. Perhaps that apology was necessary after all. (Maple)