While its sound is distinctly contemporary, Liquid doesn't uncover any new ground on Liquid. "I Hate You," a track that features a midsong guitar solo, sounds like a cross between Creed and Collective Soul, and the raw guitars that stop and go in "High" follow the pattern of Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit." "Migraine" features hushed vocals and escalating guitars -- it's a well-written track that could pass for something by the Foo Fighters. As a lyricist, however, DePasquale has his shortcomings. He writes obsessively about self-doubt with forced melodrama -- he sings "On the inside I'm dying out loud" in "Superstar" and "I don't wanna be something/I don't wanna be anyone I just can't be" in "Germ." But despite possessing a good voice -- with the exception of "I Hate You," in which he lets out a curdling scream -- he doesn't make you think that he's genuinely putting his heart on the line. Most of the time, he just sounds like he's trying to ape any number of semisensitive alt-rock frontmen (think Dave Grohl or Scott Stapp).
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