If you're the ex of someone in Tempe pop-rock band This Century, you won't want to listen to their latest EP, To Love and Back.
The six-song EP also touches on friendship betrayal ("Running"), but the dark lyrics are juxtaposed with an upbeat, catchy pop sound reminiscent of storytelling bands such as Jack's Mannequin.
The EP opens with the uptempo "Battling a Heavy Heart," where Kanitz sings, "I'm a lover, not a fighter." By the end of the disc, you wonder if that's still true, as he chastises his ex on "So Cruel."
While Kanitz sounds great, and there's definite honest emotion behind the vocals, This Century needs to do more to diversify its sound beyond the pop stylings that many of their peers (The Cab, The Maine) already employ. The music stays in a safe zone where the quality is consistently good but nothing surprising.
It's a nice touch that there's piano on some of the tracks, but if the unsigned band wants to get some label action, it might help to experiment when they craft their full-length.
For more info, log on to www.myspace.com/thiscentury.