With 3 Weeks In, the EP that Laymen Terms released earlier this year, the Colorado Springs band displayed a bare-assed work in progress, a transition from pop-punk ho-hum to epic rock drama and a promise of greater things to come. Damn. Who would have known they'd actually transcend those expectations? The group sidestepped the obvious (and trendy) prog-core route it seemed to be heading down -- even if the acoustic coda to the eight-minute-plus "Nothing Will Change" does sound suspiciously like Kansas. Instead, it delivered Drive to Nowhere: Verity's Novel, a sprawling, omni-textured, twelve-chapter rock novel that retains all the hooks, precision and power of earlier Laymen work -- with nary a noodle in sight. The complexity is embedded in the album's range of tone and emotion rather than being slopped on top via exotic scales or synths, and the resulting depth is enough to sink a battleship full of broken hearts in. This is the type of album that bands break up after making; after all, where do you go from here? Hopefully, career-defining as Drive to Nowhere is, we'll get to find out.
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