Watching the Moon

Perception Is Bent (Universal Warning)

Texas Platters

Watching the Moon

Perception Is Bent (Universal Warning)

The competent debut by these Pennsylvania imports nicely splits the difference between the raw pop of Nirvana and Girls Against Boys and the slick, post-hardcore of Rival Schools and the Constantines. Vocalist Pete Brown does particularly well, recalling Trail of Dead's Conrad Keely in his deft shifts from butch screaming ("Squatter") to a hoarse emo croon ("Mr. Microphone"). There are good riffs here, too, but not enough to fill all of the available space. Even at a reasonable 44 minutes, Perception Is Bent could stand to lose some weight, starting with the two underwritten instrumentals and crass, silly rap "Browntown." Homogeneity is part of the problem, though the music seems more monolithic than it really is, due to a certain sense that this has all been done before. That said, Watching the Moon looks like a worthwhile band, and with ruthless editing and a bit more originality, they could be an exciting one.

**.5

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