The Demonstration
Accidents With Intelligence

Ugh.

I rather enjoyed the 2006 debut, Existence from North Carolina’s The Demonstration as it displayed the melodic chops of the North Carolina metalcore scene with a confidence and heavy dose of Prayer For Cleansing/Between the Buried and Me guitar work. However, guitarists Charles Matheny and vocalist Trevor Underwood have since left the band, replaced by Rob Holder and Zachary Messick respectively, and the difference is immediate and not good.

So now With 4/5ths of the lineup being Killwhitneydead, The Demonstration, while certainly displaying some of the shredding elements of their peers and prior release, have now, basically due to new vocalist Messick, have tuned into a more poppy, punk, Victory Records styled (A Day to Remember, Farewell to Freeway, Across Five Aprils, etc), neutered metalcore band. Which is a shame as remaining guitarist David Schoaf seems to have a Chris Storey (All Shall Perish) and Paul Waggoner (BTBAM) knack for delivering some truly sumptuous solos and arpeggios, but its all for naught as Messick croons with pop punk clean vocals and the rest of the band seem content to ply a watered down, contrived and radio friendly form of MYV ready popcore.

Sure, Messick has a few growls and there’s plenty of requisite breakdowns, but they seem hollow, contrived and buried in galloping, sugary punk based verse chorus structures (“The Marionette”, “Car Rides”, “Pretty Bones”, “Acceptance (Wear Your Choices Like A Crown)”), negating the sometimes killer guitar work that can be heard here and there (“Deadpan”, start of “A Very Calculating Snake”, “We’re All Alone (We’re All Lonely)”, “Character Flaws”), but its just not enough to make me like the whole tracks or the album any more or even consider this the same band that delivered Existence.

“From L.A to Nashville” and closing pop ballad number “How it Going to Be” put the nail in the coffin and forced attempts at something a little more urgent like “Golden Hour” only serve to show how limp wristed the rest of the album is and how promising this band once was.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
February 17th, 2009

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