CD Review of We Are Not Robots by Edgewater

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We Are Not Robots
starstarno starno starno star Label: Forevergreen Records
Released: 2006
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Edgewater wants you to know that they are individuals with their own musical influences and styles. They even left Wind-Up Records (home to bands like Finger Eleven and 12 Stones) when the label wanted them to change their sound. Edgewater wasn’t having that; they don’t change their sound for anyone! They signed on to another label and released their rejected album with the defiant title We Are Not Robots, probably as a jab to those who want them to conform to the modern rock landscape. So it’s really a damn shame that Edgewater’s sophomore effort conforms perfectly to the modern rock landscape.

If there’s anything original on this album, it comes early with “Caught in the Moment” (not surprisingly the first single off the album) which features a unique “Oh Mickey” cheerleader chorus of “C-H-EA-T-E-R-S! Let’s Go!” that spices up the otherwise mundane song. Even though it’s fun and a little different, the bubblegum brigade chorus comes off as little more than a gimmick. And whenever the teenyboppers of Angry Modern Rock High School aren’t chanting in the background, “Caught in the Moment” sounds like nearly every other boring and derivative song you might hear on alternative radio stations across the country.

When Edgewater ditch the cheerleaders and go solo for the rest of the album, the result is predictable, derivative and dreary. Not only do songs like “S.O.S.” and “I Can’t Breathe” sound just like everything else on the radio, they almost sound exactly like each other. Like Nickelback, Creed and the countless flashes in the pan before them, Edgewater take a formula and run with it. The formula here is sustained guitar notes, droning vocals and generic lyrics about being not being able to breathe and being lost in…something. A sea of mediocrity, perhaps?

What’s particularly sad about Edgewater is that they seem to have no clue as to just how bland and dull they actually sound. They actually believe themselves to be some sort of rock saviors, as is evidenced on the ironically non-rocking “Rock Is Dead.” A defensive attack directed towards those who would attack them, Edgewater declares “We’re all alone again / led by a sound.” I wonder what they think that sound is? I think it’s the latest Incubus album. Vowing that they’re “going to make some waves,” the song erupts into a profanity-laden chorus on how their music is going to save us. They should know that anytime you have to tell someone that your music is going to save them, it probably isn’t. The song ends with a weak wanna-be death-metal roar of “Rock!”, which is so sad and without emotion that it’s almost like they’re trying to convince themselves that they do indeed rock.

Edgewater is one of those bands that sounds instantly familiar the second you hear them. Interchangeable with almost all of the other post-grunge rock bands out there raping whatever remains of the popular alternative music movement (which is over a decade old now guys, time for a new act), Edgewater is neither remarkably bad or exceptionally good. If you like Stone Sour or Adema, you’ll probably find something to enjoy on We’re Not Robots, but the rest of us will just sit back and enjoy the inherit irony of the album title.

~James B. Eldred