Monday, January 28, 2013
The Steamworks: Backbone Review
So over the weekend, the blog (minus J.D.) was fortunate enough to attended a Winter Jame Festival in Philadelphia, PA (it was REALLY cold!). The Festival featured five different groups/bands: June Divided, Twenty One Pilots, Walk the Moon, Matt and Kim, and Tegan and Sara. I'd only ever heard Matt and Kim along with a few songs by Walk the Moon, so I figured this was the perfect opportunity to pick up some new bands and some new albums. The first to play was June Divided, and I just need to say I really liked their performance; in my opinion, they had the best music at the show. They had a tent set up where you could do a meet & greet with them and pick up some of their tunes, but the place was so packed that I couldn't make it past the crowd to get over there and check them out. So the night after I purchased their album Backbone. So now that I've listened to the album a few times over, I decided I needed to write a review for these guys. Everyone should know this band exists, even if it's not their type of music; the population should know that they have the option to listen to this band of extremely high quality.
Now, a note about the band before I begin; here's a picture of the band:
Is it just me, or do all of these guys look like celebrities Lenny (far left) looks like Russel Brand, Chris (at least at the concert) resembled Matt Smith, Melissa looks so much like Billie Piper, and (again more-so at the actual concert) Keith resembled David Tenant. Anyway at least that's just my opinion. What I'm getting at is they have the rock look and I love it! Anyway let's look to the review:
I really don't know where to begin. That's how good this album is. From song one (Waves), it brings you on a wild, emotional flow of songs.The flow of the album alone is simply phenomenal; no song feels out of place or placed at the wrong time. I simply can't get over the lyrics, and I've already quoted them in a few conversations. I like every song in this album (which I'd like to point out, is very rare), however to name a few of my absolute favorites, I really loved Yellow House, Backbone, Skin and Bones, and Waves. From a technical perspective, the sound quality was fantastic. Another thing that I think is interesting about most, if not all of June Divided's songs, is that they all have the same type of flow, which, as I pointed out above, isn't a bad thing. Many of their songs have a balance of fast paced and slow paced music; this definitely kept me interested in wanting to hear more. Each band member definitely has talent, and they all play their parts extremely well. The singing is just outstanding, the drums are fantastic, and the guitarists sound awesome as well.
The only one way I think June Divided could improve is more of a criticism on their live concert versus on their future albums. When I saw them play live, I actually loved their live performance more than their recorded version, which in my opinion is a good thing. However, I felt that they their stage presence could improve, although given the circumstances, it wasn't bad. Considering all the factors that they had to perform with, it wasn't a bad presence at all. However when bands like Twenty One Pilots and Walk the Moon came on, I felt that they had slightly more presence than June Divided did.
Final Verdict: Speaking strictly about the album, this piece is almost flawless. At some points the music got a tiny bit too slow for my personal taste, but the lyrics and instrumental is still phenomenal. One of the best pros of this album is that every song is a "good song", meaning they don't have many (if any) songs on the album that you'll want to skip over. I'm looking forward to seeing more from June Divided!
Peter, The Steamworks
P.S: I'd just like to take a minute and point out that you can buy the album on iTunes for $10, AND you can listen to full demos of all of their songs on their website. This was very useful in getting a taste for their music, and let me assure you, this is definitely an album worth owning.