Party Adjacent is the second full length from Alkaline Trio bassist Dan Andriano under his “…in the Emergency Room” moniker; following on from 2011’s Hurricane Season.
Opener ‘Pretty Teeth’ teases and teases that it’s going to get going and – when it finally does – slumps back down again into something more mid-paced. Unfortunately, ‘mid-paced’ will become something of a recurring theme with this album.
Sound-wise, a lazy reference point here would be The Lemonheads as this album definitely sits closer to 90s indie/punk than to Alkaline Trio. At times, most notably on ‘Don’t Have a Thing’, Dan sounds reminiscent of Billy Bragg – a lone electric guitar and vocals – albeit less angry.
I think this may be my biggest problem with this album. Whilst lyrically Dan can be somewhat negative – I don’t want to be the reason that you’re not happy perhaps being the best example of this – his vocal delivery doesn’t really convey his emotions. He sounds happy and content and, alas, I found the album almost washing over me.
Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a bad album by any stretch of the imagination it’s just… well… a bit dull. Unless you happen to be a big fan of mid-tempo 90s-sounding indie then you’ll have a ball.
– Ian Perry