Exclusive: Life On The Sideline EP announcement, music video premiere

Since releasing Honesty Is A Dying Breed two years ago, Life On The Sideline has remained active on the road and is now ready to unveil its upcoming EP, Never Settle. To kick things off, we're premiering the music video for the band's new single, "Echo", which tells the sad story of a young girl reminiscing times spent with her deceased partner. While not a pop punk song per se, it's as catchy as one with an infectious chorus that you'll inevitably get stuck in your head. The band's sound could be compared to that of Transit's and The Early November's. Fans can pre-order the EP on iTunes and CD here, before it's released on June 7th. […]

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Review: The American Scene - "Haze"

Release InfoThe American Scene - Haze
Release Date: September 9th, 2014
Record Label: Pure Noise Records
Pre-order: CD, vinyl, merch

Picking up from where they left off since the release of their 2012 full-length, Safe For Now, Berkley, California's The American Scene return with their latest studio effort, Haze, a blissful entity that musically and visually captures the spirit of summertime.

While fans of The American Scene's earlier material may pick up on similar musical queues from the likes of their peers in Balance And Composure and Seahaven, Haze is a release that further proves that this band continues to grow and progress with each new release by creating a new path to call its own.

Opening with "Haze", it almost feels as if the overall vibes of this record completely speak for themselves, just from the title track alone. Touched by the heartwarming voice of vocalist Matthew Vincent to beautifully compliment the simplistic, yet tranquil reverb of both his and Jeff Wright's guitar style, this title track is a splendid introduction that perfectly sets the stage for the rest of the record.

Moving forward into the album's first single "Royal Blue", listeners will be easily drawn to the the atmospheric guitar leads that come to play throughout the repeating chorus lines, "I was a royal shade of blue". With a mesmerizing imagery of crashing waves, sun-kissed skin and a calming breeze, this relaxing tune is a mandatory song to unwind to while you're sunbathing or driving at full-speed into the sun with all of the windows down -- it's that cool.

While "Royal Blue" puts us in high spirits with a enlightening soundtrack for any lazy summer afternoon, "Nails Of Love" is another interesting single that lyrically captures the woes of bitter disinterest, which often comes from prioritizing youthful excess over sincerely falling in love. Conveyed through the eyes of California's promiscuously luscious nightlife, the narrative of this song is clearly summarized in the lines, "She doesn't want to be in love/She doesn't think it's any fun/All her friends are getting high on the weekends/He doesn't dance unless he's drinking/But he's been breaking it down".

Even though it may appear at times that the band is leaning toward a softer sound, the transition into second half of Haze will surprise you with an eccentric punch that offers slight intensity to add to their articulately melodic musicianship. "What I Could Gather" begins this transition with a faster pace by incorporating an explosive reverb assault in a matter of seconds. Standing tall as one of the more heavier songs of the record, this song truly embraces an aggressive "loud, soft, loud" pattern that they've truly crafted together in their own unique way. With a melodic arrangement of harmonizing leads to clash with this onslaught of crunching reverb chords, "What I Could Gather" is a song that truly introduces listeners to the eccentric sense of emotion that The American Scene uniquely presents throughout Haze.

As "Over To You" and "White Widow" follow suit with an eccentric instrumental dynamic that may remind listeners of the progressive tones from The Devil And God... deep cuts like "Not The Sun" or "The Archers' Bows Have Broken", the closing track "Brume", sends off Haze on a comforting note. Not only does this final number serves its purpose as the calm after the storm, "Brume" also captivates us with a climatic melody that captures the band's atmospheric approach in full circle.

If you're looking for some calming songs to lose yourself to, then Haze is definitely the perfect record to tune into. As you are soaking up these final days of summer, you'll find yourself longing for this wondrous season to never end.

1. Haze
2. Royal Blue
3. Nails Of Love
4. 4th And Broadway
5. Dark Creek
6. What I Could Gather
7. Over To You
8. White Widow
9. Drone
10. Brume

RIYL: Heavy Hand by Elder Brother, A Gentle Reminder by The Jealous Sound, Orange EP by Diamond Youth, Reverie Lagoon: Music For Escapism Only by Seahaven


More reviews by Ryan McGrath