Terrible Things, 'Terrible Things' (Universal Motown)

Critical Mass
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by Chris Martins

For Terrible Things, former Taking Back Sunday member Fred Mascherino rallies an ex–Coheed and Cambria guitarist and a Hot Rod Circuit alum around a song cycle about the deadly arsons that plagued his Pennsylvania hometown last year. It's ripe subject matter for a proper emo album, and that's mostly what the trio deliver -- the kind of raw, damaged stuff that Jimmy Eat World and Dashboard Confessional traded in before bands like, ahem, TBS came on the scene. It's hardly perfect (see the slick and silly "Conspiracy"), but shredder "Not Alone" approaches Sunny Day territory -- an admirable rollback better suited for these leaner times.

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