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| 22 February 2020 | Reply

Label: Thermal Entertainment LLC

Release Date: February 21, 2020

Rating: 88%

Reviewed by: Todd “Toddstar” Jolicoeur

I have heard forever about this band and how great they were from a friend of mine.  With a new disc out, I decided to take it for a spin and see what all the buzz was about.  Opening track “Say You Ever” is a mostly auto-tuned track that builds a sound and mood that leads into the next track.  “Bubbles” sees the band dropping the studio tricks and playing some cool rock and roll.  The vocals from Kenneth Nixon and band’s musical accompaniment are a great blend that hits a sweet pop rock vein.  “Joke’s On Us” is an interesting track that slowly builds and takes on a different vibe at the chorus.  The musical accompaniment is different at spots, but solid rock and roll through most of the chorus and bridge.  This is one of the better tracks on the disc, in my opinion.  The tempo and cadence are great and would lend themselves to live performances.  “Puzzle Pieces” sees Nixon’s vocals being perfectly supported by the guitar work from Ryan Belcher and Nic Brooks.  The chorus of this one has a wall of sound feel to it, without becoming overpowering or over the top sonically.  “Carousel” is a bit different than most of the other tracks, but doesn’t give up any of the quality of the other songs on the collection.  The song ebbs and flows from mellow to rocker and back again, while keeping the pop sensibility intact.  This one has one of the best bridges on the disc.  The guitars pick up the pace and intensity while the rhythm section anchors the track perfectly.  “Throwing Knives” is a deep track lyrically and the blend of emotive vocals and straight ahead rock vibe of the musical piece deliver the message with precision.  This is a song that will find its way into my personal playlist for some time.

“Misery” has some cool orchestration that swirls into a drum and guitar heavy introduction.  The song builds once the vocals jump in at the verse.  The chorus is contagious and gets you humming / singing along immediately, once you wrap your hands and ears around the groove.  “Forgiveness Is An Art” is one of the most contagious tracks on the disc, thanks so some great layered vocals at the chorus and some great bottom end courtesy of Shad Teems’ drums and Jonathan Stoye’s bass lines.  The song seems to click along and you find yourself tapping your foot to the track.  “Maeve” has a different sound and vibe than other tracks on the disc, but I really dig this one.  The vocals perfectly deliver the lyrical content while the band comes together for a great musical foundation.  While a bit simpler than other songs, the guitars are fun to listen to throughout the track, especially the mini solos that decorate the musical landscape.  “The Way Down” is a fun track that has a great cadence that allows the song to run a little without running away from itself.  The chorus is catchy and grabs you.  The full guitar sound in the background gives the song some added punch and keeps things interesting.  “Counterfeit” incorporates some different sounds and textures, but without deviating form the sound the band has embraced on this disc.  The layered vocals add texture to the track, but the song seems to come to life at the chorus.  Disc closer “Baggage Claim” takes us out with a different sound, as this song seems a bit mild compared to some of the other tracks, but the lyrics are well matched to the vocals, guitars, and rhythm section – with all three components and five players demonstrating how tight they can sound.  I can’t wait to hopefully catch these guys live on their tour in March.  Thanks for pressing me to check these guys out Minty!

Tracklisting: Say You Ever – Bubbles – Misery – Joke’s On Us – Forgiveness Is An Art – Puzzle Pieces – Maeve – Carousel – The Way Down – Throwing Knives – Counterfeit – Baggage Claim

Lineup: Kenneth Nixon (vocals) – Ryan Belcher (guitars) – Jonathan Stoye (bass) – Shad Teems (drums) – Nic Brooks (guitars)





Category: CD Reviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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