One Day Remains

Alter Bridge

Wind-Up Records, 2004

http://www.alterbridge.com

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 09/20/2004

Is it wrong to think of Alter Bridge as Creed Mk. III?

Granted, the supergroup which brought us tracks like "Higher" and "With Arms Wide Open" imploded in 2003, leaving singer Scott Stapp to follow his own paths in life. Hooking back up with former bassist Brian Marshall, fellow ex-Creed members Mark Tremonti and Scott Phillips set out to begin life anew, this time with singer Myles Kennedy.

Yet despite a new name, Alter Bridge is going to have a hard time shedding the ghosts of Creed -- especially when so many songs on their debut album, One Day Remains, sound like castoffs from Creed.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Give the boys some credit: instead of going for a Stapp sound-alike, they went with someone who has more vocal range in Kennedy. There are slight similarities, but for the most part, Kennedy is given free reign to exercise his own style, which is a good thing.

But musically, often it seems like One Day Remains is like facing a mirror image of a disc like Human Clay. "Find The Real" has more than a little in common with "What If," while "Open Your Eyes" feels like yet another re-write of "Higher," albeit a lot more enjoyable than "My Sacrifice" from Weathered. "In Loving Memory" is almost a sad take on "With Eyes Wide Open," losing the orchestration as well as the emotional bond of the original.

There are times that Alter Bridge does strike out on their own, trying to set themselves apart from the smoldering ruins of Creed. "Burn It Down" has an almost Soundgarden-like feel to it, and is rather enjoyable. If only the other moments of originality had this kind of interest; tracks like "Down To My Last," "Shed My Skin" and "The End Is Here" have a certain amount of guilty pleasure to them, but they aren't nearly as memorable, quickly fading into the background of whatever you're doing.

This is where Alter Bridge is going to have its biggest struggle -- and, on One Day Remains, they don't succeed. With the exception of their final album, Creed was able to lock in the listener's interest from the first note all the way through the final fadeout. Kennedy and crew need to find their way of doing this, and for a time they are successful, but they just didn't have the songwriting momentum to keep up such a pace. By the time "Down To My Last" kicks in, chances are your attention will have drifted off.

It's not that One Day Remains is a bad disc -- it's a lot better than Weathered -- but that Tremonti and crew are fighting an uphill battle against a monster three-fourths of Alter Bridge created. Alter Bridge has every right to make their own music and try to be happy and successful in the marketplace. They just haven't gotten the formula down quite right yet.

Rating: C+

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© 2004 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Wind-Up Records, and is used for informational purposes only.