This Chino Hills band released its first full-length CD, Things Aren’t So Beautiful Now, in 2004, a debut rife with conflict and contrast. Songs like "Pretty When You Cry" and "A Night To Remember, A Morning To Regret" proved it in such ways as finding beauty in tears and coping with the emotional turmoil that sometimes follows sex. They also go with a dual-mic approach that allows the two vocalists, Kelvin Cruz and Jeff Harber, to deliver two different styles at the same time. For example, "99 With An Anchor" starts off sweet and poppy, but soon descends into chaotic schizophrenia as Cruz sings and Harber shrieks (or is that vice versa?), giving the song both melody and angst. "Things Aren’t So Beautiful (Part 2)" is more experimental, starting off on piano before kicking into a blend of pop, rock and punk.
Things Aren’t So Beautiful Now may be a couple years old, but it’s a remarkable rookie rocker, considering they wrote these songs their first year together—the group clearly benefited from touring the country and developing its crushing anger-sorrow dynamics. Early next year, the band will release its follow-up, It’s Hard to Move You, recorded with red-hot producer Matt Squire (Panic! At the Disco). The group already released a rough mix of "Worthless,” a new song that retains the angst but reins in the extremes. While still using contrast as part of their signature sound, the music is also more accessible, with bigger hooks and a huge chorus that borders on being an anthem. If this is any indication of more to come, A Thorn For Every Heart will have to change the name of the new disc—they’ll be moving everyone.
Attention, Riverside/San Bernardino County bands and musicians (you too, Claremont, La Verne and Pomona)! Mail your CDs and tapes (along with your vital contact info, plus any impending performance dates) for possible review to: Band of the Week, IE Weekly, 2175 Sampson Ave., Ste. 118, Corona, CA 92879. Or be lazy and e-mail us your MySpace page link to firstname.lastname@example.org.