February 21, 2008

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Deaf Pedestrians, And Other Distractions
Virgin Records, Feb. 12
Unless they’ve been tossed bulging sacks of dough from their record company, Deaf Pedestrians will leave as their sole legacy to the music world “Hail to the Geek,” a joke-song salute to speaking fluent Vulcan, playing D&D, etc., and the book will close on yet another un-serious emo band. Only problem is that they’re far from it, and in fact should rightly be citing bands like Creed and Bush as similar choices. Silly and arena-righteous as “Geek” is, it’s a weird bird, being that singer Charlton Parker has none of Hoobastank’s nuances and could stand in for Gavin Rossdale without anyone ever being the wiser. Past that, the kids or whatever creatures actually seek out and buy nerdy-and-proud-of-it anthems — might actually be disappointed by the almost Iggy-like yowls and Black Crowes-ish awww-rights Parker sprays all over kickoff track “Seatbelt” and its “Manic Depression”-like guitar idea. Several songs pump melodic-nu-metal octane, leaving this major label debut as a not-uninteresting crossover example. B+ — E. W. S.