Do the math: Add overwrought Jane's Addiction dynamics, subtract Dream Theater's effete metal crunch, and multiply by the dejected lyricism of just about any emo band currently breaking hearts to sum up this Detroit band's full-length debut. Full of busy time changes and intricate arrangements, Volume Plus Volume offers instrumentation that isn't manic to the point of schizophrenia but does bestow multiple personalities to tracks like "Like Déjà vu Like Déjà Vu," where riffing guitar and machine-gun drums segue to the trickling piano opening on the ensuing "Like Spaceships." Alan Scheurman's boyish falsetto, at times coming close to that of Flaming Lips' Wayne Coyne, hovers over intricate bass explorations on "Hey Guy, Story of My Life, Ya Know?" where an unwavering snare gives way to punk-fueled sing-alongs, eventually slowing to a crawl and allowing airy dynamics to radiate. Volume feels experimental enough to study but fun enough to cast aside as extra-credit homework, even if some lines weigh the assignment down like a frustrating calculus problem. Elsewhere, reflections like "You did not have to die, but you made that choice" may coax a tear from a young 'un or two. Rescue may not save the world, but on Volume Plus Volume, it has saved itself.
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