Home School Valedictorian
Rs 450; rating: ***
Sometimes,you have to lose your way to find it. For lead vocalist Rick DeJesus and his not-so-merry men,it came in the form of a detour to San Diego en route to a rock performance in Los Angeles. Well,as the story goes,they drove all the way to Mexico,got robbed by a bunch of corrupt cops and wound up drinking beer at a decrepit joint called Adelita Bar.
Turned out,the place was more brothel than bar. Rick chatted with one of the girls,and overwhelmed by her story,wrote a song on it. And,to put it straight from the horses mouth,the bands name emerged from the sad stories behind the Way they lived at the Adelita Adelitas Way.
A lot happened in the years that followed,most notably the official theme song for WWE Superstars,Invincible,and their eponymous debut album in 2009. The bands sound,however,seemed hesitant,and almost everything they did with their guitars came straight from the textbook. In the absence of a signature style,the album failed to make an impact in the world of music. And then,on June 7,2011,came Home School Valedictorian.
To give the album its due,it improves on Adelitas Way while remaining true to the bands philosophy of putting themselves in peoples shoes and living through their darkest emotions.
Home School Valedictorian launches itself with Sick,a staple angry-man rant that has become a part of nearly every hard rock album that finds itself on the shelves these days. The lyrics,which go (Sick of) the way you look/all the things you do/You drive me crazy/drive me crazy,arent particularly inspiring either.
The rest of the album takes up after Sick,spouting song after song on love-gone-bad. While some of them,like Criticize,are less than mediocre,others do better showing brief glimpses of the bands potential. Among the better ones is Alive,a song played in mid-tempo whose hummable melody makes up for its passable lyrics.
The songwriting,however,improves with Good enough,which describes why remaining in a relationship can sometimes be as hard as leaving it,and stays that way with the equally-strong I can tell.
In a nutshell,Home School Valedictorian does well with its ballads,but fails to impress with heavier tracks such as Cage the beast and Move. The Adelita guys have found the way,sure,but are still a long way from their destination.