Local Wire

Static March: All At Once EP

: Static March

Title: All At Once, a six-song EP.

Basics: Formerly known as Five High, this mellow Phoenix trio plays alternative/indie rock inspired by -- according to to the band -- Incubus, Muse, Death Cab for Cutie and Kings of Leon.

Red flag!

While the Kings may be personas non gratas with this particular reviewer, there's an obvious influence from the Tennessee rockers on Static March. That influence encompasses Kings of Leon's past two albums, which would condemn any YAFI album I would normally review. Oddly enough, the KoL influence works really, really well for Static March.

Best Song: Four songs in, Static March really hit their stride with "Can't Hide." The overall tempo of the album is a bit on the slower side, yet "Can't Hide" is a freshly upbeat offering. Nick Jensen's vocals are at their best this time around, with just enough hints of that corny nu-metal, Creed-ish style that became so grossly popular at the advent of the 2000s. What style of singing did was effectively mask the fact that Chad Kroeger or Scott Stapp weren't the most melodic or pitch-perfect singers. Jensen's vocals have a certain melody that allows him to borrow just what he needs that style and then let his vocals stand on their own. The brothers Strmic -- Josh on drums and James on bass -- are also at their best, thanks in part to the song's faster pace.

Worst Song: EP opener "Better Off," in my opinion, would have been better suited in the middle of the EP. It's a good song, but I think it suffers from having a really solid identity, as far as the EP goes. A song like "Can't Hide" or even the second track "Swept Away" would have been a better choice to kick things off -- both are either more uptempo or decidedly more mellow. "Better Off" has a funky little identity crisis, something that's better worked out after a few songs.

Suggestions: There's not much I can really say to this. The EP shows up in Gracenote, the band's MySpace is pretty slick, the EP is widely available on Amazon, iTunes and CDBaby and they have a Facebook page. Static March really has their shit covered. Now, had they still been called Five High, I would have suggested a name change because it's not high school anymore. They realized this, however, and are one step ahead of me. I will say it now, as I've said before -- an attractive CD whose tracks are recognized in Gracenote goes a long way for your band's professional demeanor and image.

Grade: B

If you're a musician from the Phoenix metro area and would like to have your music reviewed in You Asked For It (our first-come, first-served and often harsh record review column) please send it in an envelope marked "YAFI" to:

Michael Lopez
You Asked For It
c/o Phoenix New Times
1201 E. Jefferson Street Phoenix , AZ 85034

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