"It's Not What You Say ... It's How You Say It" (Blackout; 2003)

Reviewed by Mike SOS

One of the hardest working bands on the Northeast indie scene is the Pennsylvania quartet known as The Commercials, a power punk band who sound a lot more mature than your average "heartache of the week" outfit. 

In fact, the ten tracks that comprise "It's Not What You Say..." are light-years ahead of the competition, as this group's muscular approach at the sounds made famous by mall punks everywhere are coupled with heartfelt, insightful lyrics that emanate experience and fortitude, instead of sounding fashionable for the sake of relating to MTV's heavy rotation. 

Benefiting from the budget of a bigger label, previously released songs like "Six Weeks of April" sound fuller and richer, yet still manage to pack a wallop as much as the earlier, rawer demo versions and the production level and intensity have increased equally. 

But don't be fooled, The Commercials do have a total geek rock vibe going on that occasionally leans on the Dashboard Confessional side of things. Yet, unlike many of their peers, they manage to shape that Weezer-esque mold into a stronger, smarter, more sincere and overall heart tugging journey. 

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2004 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 09 Dec 2018 12:03:10 -0500.