Heroes & Villians
Okay, let me get the necessary Coldplay / Travis / Radiohead / U2 comparisons out of the way. There, now I feel better. Suffice it to say that every Coldplay fan needs to check this out now! Luckily, its not just a second-hand retread. These guys have been doing it just as long. After all, their debut album coincided with Coldplays. Its just hard to get a hold on that Brit-pop market while ensconced in L.A. No worries. This record oughtta do it. Its on the edge of masterpiece-dom. Huge, lush, gorgeous anthems like the lead-off single Breathe In should break these guys huge if theres any justice. Just listen to that middle-eight as it soars to heights not reached in years on pop radio. Ringing guitars, warm bass, tasteful piano and the perfect backbeat are the base of this album, but its singer James Grundlers frighteningly adaptable voice that cements this as a future classic. From tender falsetto on Throwing Stones to the gutsier grit of Fade Out/In, he can do it all deftly, with just the right amounts of bravado and subtlety. Usually records of this understated nature get squashed under the heels of boneheaded American modern rock, but this one comes from Americans who sound like they could do a little squashing of their own itll just sound better.
Chris McKay / concertshots.com