The Killing Tree The Romance of Helen Trent

Chicago's the Killing Tree may feature Tim McCrilth on guitar/vocals, who just happens to be in Fat Wreck Chords hardcore outfit Rise Against, but don't be getting any funny ideas. The Kiling Tree have more in common with other envelope-pushing post-hardcore bands Sparta or AFI than McCrilth's day job. The band weaves their way through catchy indie rock and melodic crooning just fine, and at the drop of a hat they can switch up to some interesting At the Drive-In-ish experimentation. All the while, the energy level stays high, the emotions are flying left right and centre and there's not really a fault to be found. Unfortunately, there's also a lack of something to hold on to, just not enough memorable moments and a bit too much of everything in the soup; plus, the album's too damn long. But there's potential in truckloads here, and when these guys are on, they're on. Over-hyped band of 2003? Time will tell. (One Day Savior)