Entry point: Locustvale
Personal favourite: Skin on Skin
From the opening lines, this sounds promising. I’ve never heard of In Between before, two tracks into the album and I’m drawing comparisons to Rise Against and that pop influenced punk rock genre. Please note that the “pop influenced” is far from a bad thing, in my opinion, more bands would do themselves favours by taking what they do and simplifying. If the song is good, it will show through.
The vocals are on point, harmonies are there when required and the screaming/yelling is tastefully done.
Production on the album is solid and unobtrusive, the songs are able to stand on their own legs without sounding manufactured or as so often happens with this style of music, it doesn’t sound like a garage demo that’s been released.
A note to any band who has the means yet is still considering releasing less than studio quality productions: Don’t.
You’re only doing yourselves a disservice. If you don’t want to lose the raw energy of performing live or don’t want to be too polished, tell your engineer and producer that. If you’re a good live band, capturing that in the studio is easy. Listen to Rage Against the Machine‘s self-titled album and tell me that it lacks energy or is too polished.
Locustvale is relatively two dimensional, but at 27 minutes that isn’t a concern – the album is over before you know it.
The track Skin on Skin has a slightly slower more anthemic feel to it, which is where I get the Rise Against comparison. By slowing things down the vocals have more space to breathe and carry the track forward.
The track Locustvale (video above) is a decent summation of the rest of the album, the drums and bass drive it forward and leave plenty of space for the vocals to shine.
In my opinion, this genre works best when the instruments drop in and out to add dynamics and contrast to the music when albums are comprised of songs that aren’t all the same kick-snare-kick-kick-snare pattern at the same tempo.
Locustvale has the songs for those days of driving with the windows down on a hot summer road trip. Fans of this genre should find plenty on this album to enjoy.