Andrew Parks
April 23, 2004 AT 04:00 AM EDT

On the surface, indie rockers Audio Learning Center seem to be a departure for Vagrant, the Motown of bleeding-heart emo acts like Dashboard Confessional. But between its choked-cat vocals and lines like ”lacerate these heartstrings,” Cope is simply another mope session. ”California,” which offers death-march drums, shows some spine, but mostly the CD offers thick guitars and hooks that slide off like a used Band-Aid.

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