20 Watts


20 Watts Reviews Default’s Comes and Goes by Eric Vilas-Boas
Default put out a pretty bad album in a time when

Default have put out another pointless, unoriginal album with Comes and Goes. But in the age of Passion Pit and MGMT, they have little market or leeway for making one.

PREVIEW: DOWNLOAD Default’s “All Over Me” MP3
WE GIVE IT: 8/20 Watts

Is it a coincidence that the winners of “Best New Group” at the 2002 Juno Awards sound exactly the same as the winners of “Best Group”? Nickelback, who built their mainstream success on paltry post-grunge paragons like “How You Remind Me” and “Someday” are all-but-forgotten (or rather, blocked out) today with shifting cultural tastes in music.

Nonetheless, despite their mainstream appeal, most people in the early ‘00s knew they were never good musicians, but accepted them regardless. Post-grunge radio-rock trends and Spider-Man soundtracks leaned in their favor. Default has no such boon in the current music industry.

With lyrics that scream cliché as much as the boring instrumentation does, Comes and Goes has very little working in its favor. But apart from being one-dimensional and unoriginal, Default has even less to rely on in an age where bands like MGMT and Passion Pit dominate the airwaves.

The first singles, “All Over Me” and “Little Too Late” come across generically from musicians trying their hardest not to stray from formula. When the chorus “All I want is you all over me” emanates from your speakers and you find it indeed is the same line as the song’s title, surprise isn’t your first response. And when singer Dallas Smith repeats the words “too late” no less than thirteen times in “Little Too Late,” it’s hard not to see Default as anything but mundane (the punning possibilities are endless).

Drummer Danny Craig posted a message to the band’s fans on their Myspace blog in June, 2008, apologizing for not updating them on the status of their as-yet-unreleased fourth album. Blaming their former record label (the now-defunct TVT) for nearly “ultimately destroying our career, not to mention the careers of every other artist on their roster,” Craig discussed Default’s excitement to work with their new “label,” an online music distribution company called The Orchard.

Well over a year later, Comes and Goes drops on EMI Canada and Default’s music is just as good (and bad) as it was a half-decade ago. While label politics and the uncertainty of a definite release is a more than understandable problem in the current recording industry, it isn’t nearly Default’s most pressing setback in the late ‘00s. Making irrelevant, derivative music is.

— Eric Vilas-Boas

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