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splendid > reviews > 10/28/2002
Five A.M.
Five A.M.
Degrees of Falling
Self-Released


Format Reviewed: CD

Soundclip: "Sway"

Buy me now
Five A.M. is a San Francisco-based adult alternative act that crafts radio-friendly and rootsy rock tunes, as evidenced by Degrees of Falling. Through extensive touring, Five A.M. has built up a fairly large fanbase that helped the act finance this record to the tune of about $21,000. The money was clearly well spent, as producer Ben Kaphan (American Music Club, John Lee Hooker) has applied a clean if not conservatively commercial sound to the album.

That said, you will find little here that sounds original. Lead singer Trent Yaconelli sounds like Live's Ed Kowalczyk much of the time, and the rest of the quintet seems content to follow in the footsteps of Live's or fellow Bay Area rockers Counting Crows' blander accomplishments. Yaconelli's delivery is earnest and combats most of what otherwise would seem trite ("Painted Words"). Yelling "Fuck You!" comes off a little silly in the climax of the grungy number "Joker", and underscores the fact that Five A.M. probably shouldn't turn up the testosterone.

"Sway", with its glossy harmonies, big guitar riffs and flamenco-ish melody, showcases the band at its best. And despite exhibiting little edge here, Five A.M. has the smell of success about it, as its strength is in its range and versatility.



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