You need to hear this….YES, YOU.
I don’t care who you are, or what music you listen to. Just go listen to this….
This album is the best release I’ve heard in MANY years! It’s no surprise that members from some of the best Long Island indie bands (Inside, Dearly Departed, Blood Red and Ancient Tongue) came together and produced such a mature sounding record. It has a little of everything – beautiful melodies, driving guitars, sharp beats, a bit of twang, and thought-provoking lyrics. The songs range from fast and energetic, to easy and harmonious. And as much as I didn’t want to say this, there is a bit of a pop undertone in select songs which actually make this a very well-rounded album that can appeal to all.
Oh, and not to mention they put on a rocking live show – being a SEVEN-piece band.
The first song, Bad News on the Doorstep, is the most powerful track on the album. It has the most driving sound, and heaviest guitar chords on the album complimented by Dave Sacrestano’s strong bass. Long-time fans of their former bands will hear the similarities here but will be pleasantly surprised about the evolution of their sound. This song is sure to energize listeners and begs to be played at full volume (this one is incredible live).
Blue John is a slower, beautiful song highlighted by Michael Mallamo’s voice harmonizing over delicate guitar riffs. The lyrics and chorus are relatable – about a local bartender and a town drunk that possibly share the same pain, and potentially the same fate. “Dear Old Johnny was in every man. He’d sip the moon until he couldn’t’ stand himself.” If this isn’t you, we all at least know someone who has sought to numb their pain at the bar.
“Have one more on me, the night is young and we got no where else to be…I crack a smile and he’d crack his…He held back tears and I held mine. I won’t tell if you won’t tell.”
Although it’s one of the more solemn songs on the album, it still lingers in my mind – I find myself humming this more often than I’d care to admit.
Cheyenne is another stand-out track (and here’s one for you, my motorcycle-riding friends). This definitely has a southern rebel sound also best played at full volume. Tom Comerford’s and Jason Rind’s guitar talents shine through giving this song an authentic, raw, southern rock sound. Jay's use of a glass slide on his acoustic guitar provides just the right amount of twang. Their classic rifts combined with modern energy from Ken and Fred Grau’s percussion talents power this song forward. It’s another incredible song to see live (or blast through your headphones while riding your motorcycle through the open roads).
And let me quickly mention, Inches from the Ground – this is one for the dreamers. When referring to the inspiration behind this song, Mallamo says, “it is simply about my admission that I’m more of a dreamer than a doer, but I have learned to balance that out, deal with it, and live comfortably with this dichotomy. Though my head is in the clouds, and my eyes/reality is actually inches from the ground, I’ll be alright.” Now if only we were all that self-assured.
Alpenglow is my personal favorite as it takes you on a journey from soft melodies building up to a stronger chorus – perfectly fitting for a song about the natural beauty of the sunlight hitting the ice and snow on the horizon. Michael Mallamo’s voice is at it’s best on this track as he sings about people in middle-of-nowhere Alaska who are accepting their dire fate and trying to live in harmony with the earth. It’s no wonder this is a favorite of mine.
So yeah, considering this album has driving melodies, strong guitars, crisp beats, and lyrics about some of my favorite, relatable topics, it deserves a listen or two by any music fan. And if you can, PLEASE check out one of their live performances. You will NOT be disappointed.
P.S. They just posted that they'll be playing at the Velevet Lounge in East Setauket on January 11th at 9pm. Wherever you are, make the trip. It will be worth it.