Sounds like … a group combining the basic components of Veruca Salt, Hole, Sleater-Kinney, Evanescence, and Chevelle.

At a glance … a bit short and underdeveloped, Flyleaf's debut is one that shows promise despite its coarse youthfulness.

After introducing and overexposing us to pop newcomers Maroon5, Octone Records now partners with S/R/E Recordings to give us Flyleaf, a Texas-based group whose ascent started at the SXSW music festival in Austin—the mecca for unsigned and independent hopefuls. After signing with the label and releasing an introductory EP in 2004, they're now making their official debut to both mainstream and Christian markets.

Vocalist Lacey Mosley's faux gothic appearance might tempt some to call Flyleaf a poor man's version of Evanescence, but the differences are plenty. For one, she doesn't sing nearly as operatic and pretty as Amy Lee, vocalizing more like a strange cross between Gwen Stefani, Courtney Love, and even Linkin Park's Chester Bennington (for the screams). Musically, there's also something endearingly primal and stripped-down about the quintet's method, and producer Howard Benson (P.O.D., Blindside) is careful to avoid overproduction.

At times, Flyleaf resembles a simpler, barely produced three-piece post-grunge band, recalling the likes of Helmet, Sleater-Kinney, and Chevelle, but their songs lack the intricate arrangements inherent to those bands. Flyleaf likes to keep things uncomplicated and neatly wrapped up in less than three minutes, which regrettably isn't nearly enough time to expound on Mosley's glum-yet-hopeful observations on life. As a Christian, she still manages to temper her troubled past and woeful outlook with liberal references to God, Jesus, and Columbine martyr Cassie Bernall.

Some may find the lyrics a bit too fatalistic (e.g. "I'm a selfish fake," "Here I stand … wishing my wrists were bleeding," "I'm so sick [and] infected," "All my efforts … leave me putrid and filthy"), but it's actually what will appeal to Flyleaf's target audience. Their style perfectly befits their substance, and there's enough light at the end of the tunnel for them avoid being lumped with other more generic, angstier-than-thou rock bands.

Our Rating
3 Stars - Good
Average Rating
(4 user ratings) ADD YOURS Help
Release Date
October 4, 2005
Browse All Music Reviews By: