Describing Mike Sill’s Your Fault with a finite offshoot of rock is nearly impossible without stripping its character, and leaving it void of its half-dozen influences. The five-song EP is by no-means genre defying—but it does raise an interesting question: why are we so quick to pigeonhole every piece of music we hear?
No two songs sound the same on Your Fault (and this isn’t extraordinary, given the small sample size), but this speaks to Sill’s promise as a musician much more than to an underlying problem. Maybe Sill is right; it is my fault that I ache to categorize his music. Though there is not one word for amalgamating pop-rock, emo, alternative, noise-rock, college-rock and nu-metal—yes, nu-metal—I can at least point to some musicians Sill really likes.
Starting with Cage the Elephant; the influence permeates the release but is fittingly obvious in the title track. The verse is plucked directly from “Shake Me Down,” but disguises itself well as a pseudo Weezer B-side. The song preceding it, “Ronny’s Song,” likely owes its chief sound to something off the Orange EP by The Dear Hunter; the vocal delivery, in particular, is too similar to Casey Crescenzo to be coincidence.
"Bitter Bored" is reminiscent of 90's alternative that mixes in a tinge of psychedelia while "Solid State of Mind" is an infectious slice of power pop. Sill doesn't slow things down a bit with the closer "Red Sun". It's a rocking tune that ends things with a bang.
Don’t fault Sill for borrowing from the musicians he likes—it’s actually a smart move for a debut EP, if one can pull it off. Short answer: he can. Mike Sill proves emulation can still allow for incredibly catchy music, when the correct elements are mixed. He’s a master alchemist. Even the Limp Bizkit-inspired “rapping” at the end of “Solid State of Mind” is redeemable. He possesses the talent to play and record virtually anything under rock’s umbrella.
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