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View From Everest 

Contagious EP Rust Records

View From Everest validates the theory put forth in the commercial for the Monster Ballad compilation: Every bad boy has his soft side. Its members boast local hard-rock pedigrees (guitarist Jimmy Maler was a member of Spoyld; singer Chad Armstrong played guitar in the Zachary Walker Band), but Contagious emphasizes radio-friendly love songs. The EP finds the band indulging its sweet tooth by mixing pop, '80s power ballads, and late '90s alternative rock that was neither alternative nor rock (see Vertical Horizon).

View From Everest's schmaltzy love songs and bouncy pop tracks could provide a perfect soundtrack for a yuppie couple's romantic evening, but its lack of firepower deflates cheeseball numbers like the sappy acoustic ballad "My Kind" and the pure bubblegum "I'm Draggin." Contagious could spread among pop fans, but it will underwhelm audiences seeking substance.

More by Matt Gorey

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