Consent to Treatment, Blue October's recently released debut CD, has been heralded by critics as "moody, intelligent art rock." Actually, the band is more like this: You walk into a bar in your home town, see some friends from high school and start catching up on old times with them. Blue October, in this case, is the band being ignored in the background.
The Houston quintet boasts all of the standard instruments - bass, guitar and drums. It does, however, include a violin, played by the apt Ryan Delahoussaye. Alas, the violinist's talent alone can not save the music of this band.
The production of the CD is top notch. However the music, though potentially amazing, is run-of-the-mill pop rock. If it were not for the incoherent lyrics of Justin Furstenfeld, the band might well have reached relative fame long before this year. Unfortunately, Furstenfeld's vocals seem to say "I will scream at any moment; never you mind if it's appropriate." The lyrics show that he sees this album as a sort of extended therapy session.
Music can act as therapy, and therapy can be good. However, good music and good therapy are two entirely separate things. Furstenfeld's audience appears to be the broke demons in his head, rather than the multitudes who actually have the cash to buy this disc.
There are some high points in Consent to Treatment, specifically the cover art, press pack and track two on the CD, titled "Independently Happy." This song keeps a good rhythm, even if it sounds like a male impersonation of Alanis Morissette.
Though potentially a stunning ensemble, Blue October currently ranks somewhere in mediocrity.