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Album Review: Ten Second Epic - Better Off

If their recently released studio videos are anything to go by, the Canadian five piece, Ten Second Epic, have put their heart and soul into the creation of their latest opus, ‘Better Off’. Having existed in their original form for over ten years now, and with two other full lengths and numerous EPs under their belts this, their third full length may represent a now or never moment for the band. Having started to make waves in their native land and having bagged some tasty support slots in Europe in recent years, ‘Better Off’ could be the band’s big breakthrough.

Ten Second Epic have been writing and mastering the art of good pop/rock over their last couple of releases, and while ‘Better Off’ represents much of the same, there is no question that it is to a higher standard. The album kicks off with the radio rock anthem-in-waiting that is ‘Young Classics’. In the tried and tested manner of using the fastest, straight out of the speakers song to open your album, ‘Young Classics’ is a different beast to the rest of the tracks on the album. Fast-paced and incorporating an almost-screamed chorus, this is a radio rock monster. ‘Animal Choices’ is the only other song that really hits the same level of energy, displaying the kind of strut that The Starting Line incorporated into their latter work.

The band are at both their best and their worst when they embrace their pop sensibilities whole heartedly. On tracks like ‘Sanctuary’ where the band have penned one of the best choruses of the year; and on the brilliant closer ‘Northern Star’ that sees the band adopt a more mature sound; the melodic moments are a shining light. However when the band deploy the sugar on tracks like ‘Better Off’ and ‘Giving Up’, it’s vapid and largely disposable. Finding the right level of sweetness is key to Ten Second Epic making a more substantial impact, and they get the mix spot on with ‘Eastbound’. It starts off with the musical maturity of Jimmy Eat World, but soon blends in a hook and chorus that is on a par with All Time Low in terms of its poppiness, making for a really good song.

‘Better Off’ is the sound of a band nearly getting to where they want to be. It’s skilful in terms of its musicality, and hits its commercial potential at moments, however there is still a little work to be done before the band are catapulted to where they want to be.


'Better Off' is out now on Hassle Records.

Dan Issitt

Alter The Press!