I don’t think I ever say, “What the fuck?” when listening to music more than while I’m listening to NOTHING MORE. That’s not derogatory by the way. What I mean is, they’re one of the very few bands that can pull these intense breakneck 90 degree turns either in the middle of a song, or as the record progresses. They do it fluidly though, and without seeming like they’re shoving a transition into some place where it doesn’t belong, or trying to fill up an album with five or six good songs and then filler tracks to hit the right length. No, these guys are VERY far from that on The Stories We Tell Ourselves (September 15, Better Noise Records).
I genuinely didn’t think power ballads still existed. I thought they went out around the time WHITESNAKE pulled Tawny Kitaen into the limelight on the hoods of cars with a see through dress (Give or take 15~20 years). I was wrong. I usually talk about an album overall and give my full impressions of it, but I HAVE to talk about “Still In Love” first. It’s not only a song that captures that hugeness and crushing emotion of classic 80’s ‘hairspray’ era bands, but it has a lot of modern touches that bring that sense of nostalgia into today’s realm, and right into your face. I can’t speak highly enough about this track. For a band that is semi-constrained to the metal archetype, I’m VERY VERY glad that they pulled something like this out of the hat.
Aside from that particularly intense stand out, the rest of the album is also quite fantastic to boot. I was wary of the large track count, as the last album these fellas put out was a little hard to sit all the way through (Still excellent, just fuckin’ LONG, Lordy!). but most of the interlude segments that are sprinkled throughout don’t feel intrusive or obstructing when it comes to the overall scope of this body of work. Not to mention, you can always skip them (A thing that is often overlooked by bands when a lot of people just want to get to the point and listen to the damn song).
Now I want to warn you, there is a LOT going on here. From club banger type electronic intros, to silly riffs (some nearing the point of violent mosh inducing vibes), and some insane vocal deliveries with pristine chorus work, there’s a metric shit ton of music to take in here. I personally like that when listening to albums. A very cohesive sound is always cool, but I like to be surprised by what I might hear next.
All in all, this is a great album. I wasn’t sure how they could follow up their previous self titled release, and the wait was very long, but very worth it. If you need a totally unique fix of some of the weirdest alternative rock to grace our ears in this day and age, grab this record immediately and put it in your ear holes. You won’t be sorry.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Still In Love”, “Don’t Stop”, “Funny Little Creatures”