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| 18 October 2022 | Reply

Label: Fearless Records

Release Date: October 7, 2022

Rating: 93%

Reviewer: Todd “Toddstar” Jolicoeur

You HAVE to dig into a disc when one of your favorite publicists places a bolded statement in a release about something NOT being a metal record.  My tastes are all over the board so of course I had to take this for a spin… and I am so glad I did.  This pop rock filled disc is a great listen no matter the mood or circumstance.  Disc opener “Never Break Your Heart” is a mellow track that has an ethereal leaning during the intro that builds slightly but this is no rock track that will get heads banging or fists pumping.  The vocals are layered perfectly with the guitars and keyboards.  Settle in and enjoy as this is the tip of the sonically sweet pop iceberg.  “Make You Make Believe” has a cool garage rock woven into its vocal and overall musical DNA.  The different textures from the bass and drums add punch underneath the tandem vocals that kick the verses and chorus into shape.  The blend of Christian and Piano on lead vocals is a cool blend that oozes pop goodness.  “Paper Houses” has a different feel to it that is hard to explain but it is tied to the heavier bottom end that feels weighted without taking on the characteristic of a heavier track.  The slower cadence multiplies the feel, especially when a fuzzed bass plunks in on the choruses.  “Shoulders” is a fun track that get into EVERY time it comes on.  The piano intro that duets with the lead vocal has a light pop sound that permeates the rest of the track.  The layered lead and background vocals on the chorus could not be any better as they create an earworm that you cannot escape after a first listen.  Don’t sleep on the bit of attitude we get on one of the pre-choruses.  “Split Salt” is a fun track that has very tongue in cheek lyrics that rival the pop goodness of the arrangement that is used to deliver them.  The song structure feels basic at times and not so much at others but it helps elevate the tracks accessibility for a listener.  This is another song that seems to grab you and not let go after it has come and gone.  Disc closer “Cortisol” is one of the more contagious songs on the disc and if nothing else prompts you to start it back at the top and listen through again.  The song clocks in at just over two minutes, but it is 132 seconds well spent — I couldn’t stop tapping my foot on the first listen and that hasn’t changed as I make my 10th pass through the disc.

“Disco Days” has a great vibe and sound that screams for you to listen to it.  The lead vocal has a slightly different tone to it, but it works within the structure of this track.  The second verse brings more tandem lead vocals that give the song a fun sound that builds on the guitar sound and funk fueled rhythm section from Richard Smith on bass and Sam Athanas on drums.  This is one of the tracks I find myself going back to as I listen through.  “Roots” has an interesting sound that pairs perfectly with a galloping cadence that gives the track a sense of urgency without overplaying the overall vibe of the song.  The vocals are perfectly paired to to the musical accompaniment that is draped over the song.  Before you realize what happened with the track, its short time span expired.  “Come Back Down” has a killer bass line that carries the intro vocal until a synth line jumps into the fray before the rest of the instrumentation kicks in as the first chorus hits us directly without any musical foreplay.  The different tones and sounds tossed into the mix as well as the twists placed on the guitars, vocals, and synths are a cool addition.  “High Society” has a cool vibe woven into the musical tapestry.  The funk heavy groove gets the foot tapping and draws you in quickly allowing you to ease back just enjoy the almost three minutes of fun.  This is one of those songs that you remember due to its fun quotient and listenability.  “Gasoline” has a different sound and feel to it thanks to the dialed back guitars and vocal that leads us through the intro and first verse.  While the lyric takes a left turn from the musical accompaniment, the song becomes an earworm and hangs with you prompting you to hum along before the second chorus hits.  I really hope this rock and metal guy gets the opportunity to check this NOT metal band out and absorb these song in a live situation.

Tracklisting: Never Break Your Heart – Make You Make Believe – Disco Days – Paper Houses – Roots – Shoulders – Come Back Down – Split Salt – High Society – Gasoline – Cortisol

Lineup: Christian Neonakis (vocals, guitar, bass) – Piano Whitman (vocals, piano, synths) – Dylan Savopoulos (guitar) – Richard Smith (bass, guitar) – Sam Athanas (drums)







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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