Mission19

Five Days From Home (Jagaball Records)

The term "college rock" implies that the post-high school educational experience is the same for most Americans, which couldn't be further from the truth. Depending upon the student, life as a collegian can involve everything from anarchy to alcoholism. As a result, the brand of college rock practiced by Mission19, out of Fort Collins, will likely appeal mainly to a specific slice of the university demographic -- nice boys and nice girls who are into romance, not ruthlessness, sensitivity, not sedition, and swaying, not slamming.

"Make Up Your Mind" comprises most of the elements displayed by the other eleven songs on Five Days From Home. The tune's broad melody is fleshed out by hempy guitars and starchy keyboards, and the lyrics overflow with sprightly, superficial declarations such as "Maybe everything will be all right." No wonder vocalist/instrumentalist Joe Nolan offers thanks on the CD's sleeve to John Mayer, Jason Mraz and Hootie & the Blowfish's Darius Rucker. They plowed the field in which Nolan and company grew.

The problem is, Mission19 doesn't add anything new to the mix. The band's clearly mastered the formula, but adds no fresh ingredients, combustible or otherwise. After spinning this disc, even college rockers with the right pedigree may feel that they've already taken this class.

 
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