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“A Better Version”
The show Cerebellion played last Saturday night at the Tiki Bar in Costa Mesa marked a bit of a change for the band — it was last show featuring vocalist Joe Arnold, who will be moving on to other work while the band itself will be continuing on as it plans its followup to the 2010 album Inalienable. As a bit of a transitional teaser, last week the group released the final song they've recorded with him as a free download and YouTube track, “A Better Version”:
It's a bit more of a commercial focus than the band has tried in the past, but it's not like Cerebellion is ever going to be mistaken for Hot Topic emo any time soon. (What DID happen to Panic! at the Disco, anyway?) Arnold's semi-spoken verse and scream-along chorus is a familiar enough approach from the last decade's worth of alternative rock radio as it now exists; here it makes for a good final bow on his part, delivering a hook with rough energy as much as studied impact.
A not-so-secret weapon here is Arnold's two-part moment of guitar heroics, first with a intricate progression on the verse in the break followed up by a solo that sounds beamed out of the eighties — more like Queensryche virtuosity than glam rock flash. Then the whole band shifts into a near-thrash level conclusion, wrapping up a phase of their existence with one last fun kick.