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With the recent pop-punk explosion flooding the market these days, it’s hard to decipher one band from the next. Add Chicago’s The Audition to that mix, as this sturdy yet slightly unrecognizable five-piece’s 10-track debut is enriched with huge hooks, shimmering guitars, water-tight rhythms, and slightly emo vocals that should have the teenage female quotient swooning. There’s also some intriguing songwriting tactics employed on tracks like the acoustic bridge in “Lawyers” and the made-for-MTV contagiousness of “Approach the Bench”. Senses Fail meets My Chemical Romance meets Fall Out Boy meets insert flavor of the month band here kind of applies here, yet CONTROVERSY LOVES COMPANY ultimately goes down a lot smoother, is way less annoying than many of its contemporaries, and does have its moments when they break the mold and come into their own. There’s just not enough here to distinguish them from Hawthorne Heights or any other of the bands currently enjoying their day in the sun.
- Mike SOS