On the Might of Princes Where You Are and Where You Want to Be LP

Monumental in some circles, 2001’s Where You Are and Where You Want To Be has been reissued with a few alternate takes and one previously unreleased track. On the one hand, I think this music is exactly why Tim Yo drew the line at STILL LIFE years ago—an emotionally and inwardly-driven band whose songwriting lent as much to melodic/indie/pop sensibilities as anything found lurking under any “punk” umbrella. On the other hand…who’s to say how big that umbrella should be (cue endless debate in 3, 2, 1…)? Not trying to peel away the importance (or quality) of the release, however. ON THE MIGHT OF PRINCES made ’90s screamo their own, “their own” enough that it holds up and sounds fresh and relevant twenty years later. The melody dominates, and songs flow between anguish and romance and harmless metallic riggage so smoothly that the entire record could almost be one opus (to be sure, this is the case for many devotees). The bonus material falls into the “fans only” category: the alternate versions are essentially just less-produced demo takes, and the unreleased cut “Hell or High Water” is good, but pales when compared to the rest of the record. Suffice to say, that this is not a release for me, but I openly acknowledge the importance, the impact, the intensity, and the void left by the loss of frontman Jason Rosenthal in 2013.