Typically when people think about Nashville, Tennessee, the first thing that comes to mind is country music. Nashville is the home of country music. Its Ryman Auditorium and Grand Ole Opry are shrines to the legends of country music for all intents and purposes. So the thought that a rock band–a punk band no less–would rise among the country ranks and make a name for itself among that mass of counrty acts no less comes as something of a surprise. But when audiences hear the new EP The Magic Show Act II: The Turn from We Are The Finale, they will agree that this Nashville, TN-based band is set to finally start turning the tide in Music City, USA and help make the city known for being more than just the capital of country music. The Magic Show Act II: The Turn totals only five songs and sixteen minutes. Throughout the course of the EP’s technically four full-length songs–the EP’s opener only runs fifty-one seconds and isn’t technically a song–front man Daniel John Schafer and band mates Bradley Gwinn, Brandon Keysey, Freddy March, and Ronnie Mills show quite a bit of diversity and talent. They take listeners on a ride through some of rock’s sub genres throughout the record from the pop punk style of the EP’s first full track ‘Well Enough Alone’ to a semi-post hardcore sound in ‘…And Scene’ and an almost seemingly 80s influenced sound on the EP’s closer ‘The Honeymoon Phase.’ It’s tough especially in the indie rock world to find a record that crosses so many sounds within the course of its songs (Whether it be an LP or EP). But the members of We Are The Finale have done just that here. Keeping that in mind, it helps to make this EP one that is deserving of at least one listen by audiences.
The members of We Are The Finale have crafted a record in its new EP The Magic Show At II: The Turn that is well worth at least one listen. The reason being that through the course of the EP’s four full-length songs, the band refuses to stick to just one of rock’s various sub genres. it switches things up from one song to the next, thus keeping audiences engaged from start to finish. The record’s lead song ‘Well Enough Alone’ is proof of that. The song’s slower, almost bluesy sound instantly hints at an influence from the likes of Set It Off. Front man Daniel John Schafer’s lyrics add a certain depth to that musical side, too. He hits on a topic that quite a few men have dealth with in life in the form of a woman that causes a man no end of problems inside. He sings, “Your eyes are telling lies/That your mouth is trying to hide/So now I gotta decide if it’s worth it/To keep this dragging on.” Schafer writes in the song about how his subject is going crazy over the female in question, writing, “Girl, you got me faded (Whoa, I’m so smooth girl)/And now the groudn is shaking (Let me move you)/Now I feel like I’m six feet deep (You shouldn’ve known, too)/And the top of my headstone reads Leave well enough alone.” In other words, the woman in question is killing his subject, metaphorically speaking of course. What man hasn’t been in this situation at least once in life? And while the song’s subject is obviously male, one could argue and flip it to have a female as the lead subject singing about a guy driving her crazy as that does happen, too. That interchangability and the song’s musical side colletively make ‘Well Enough Alone’ a fitting opener for the band on its new record.
‘Well Enough Alone’ is a good first impression from We Are The Finale on its new EP. This is especially the case for those that might not be so familiar with the band’s music. That’s thanks to its mix of relatable lyrical content and equally interesting musical side. Audiences that pick up the band’s EP will note that as enjoyable as this song proves to be, the band doesn’t resteasy on its laurels. Rather it switches things up from here as is evidenced in the semi-post hardcore sound of ‘…And Scene.’ The song opens with the sound of an old film reel setting the stage for what is to come much like was done with old movies. It is a fitting addition to this song, considering the song’s lyrical content. Shafer sings in the song’s chorus, “All you ever wanted was to bust out on the scene/But I won’t let the scene change me/And all you ever wanted was a reason to feel this way/So now I’ll stay away/Away from you for a while.” Before this, he sings, “My face fills with blood/Your face is so smug/So now I’ll take some steps away/This life you sell/It can’t be real.” The song seems to come across as highliting the frustration felt by someone that has to deal with one of those overly annoying people who lives solely to bring others down one way or another. Hopefully that interpretation is right as it is just the interpretation of this critic. The song’s second verse strengthens the argument for this interpretation as Shafer sings, “I’ve heard these lies before/Back when I was young/And I am moving on my way/Now that I’m older I see all the things that I want/And I’m ready to plead my case.” Again, Schafer comes across as targeting the people that would say whatever they want to others, knowing others would believe them and in turn allow themselves to be torn down emotionally. It will be interesting to find out whether or not this interpretation is correct. Hopefully it is correct. Regardless, the very fact that it could generate such discussion and thought by itself makes it well worth hearing. The balance of Schafer’s clean vocals and his screams set against the song’s guitars and drums adds even more depth to the song, proving again what makes ‘…And Scene’ another part of a whole that any indie punk and rock fan will enjoy.
We Are The Finale shows throughout the course of both ‘Well Enough Alone’ and ‘…And Scene’ its musical versatility and its lyrical versatility, too. The band exhibits just as much musical versatility in ‘The Honeymoon Phase’ which closes the EP. The band’s use of keyboards throughout the song and the rather bombastic guitar solo incorporated into the song’s bridge adds its own share of depth to the song. They collectively show something of an 80s influence. There’s also a bit of a Fall Out Boy influence here, too. Such a juxtaposition of sounds shows even more than ever the versatility of the band’s abilities and influences. That versatility by itself makes the song one more good example of what makes The Magic Show Act II: The Turn well worth the listen. The song’s lyrical side gives it even more depth as Schafer sings, “I’ll rip the ties that bind me to your walls/And I will grab hold of everything and try/To stay on my feet while you’re chasing afer me/Because this war torn heart can’t beat anymore/And I’ve lost my want to pick you off the floor/So stay on your knees and stop chasing after me.” He goes on to sing of his subject taking the chance to tell a significant other that he/she loves someone in particular. Yet in the song’s end, he sings, “Now we’ll stay forever broken-hearted/And destined to feel this way.” It’s almost as if he is saying in regards to his subject that said subject will take the chance to express his/her love for a certain person even though it may be too late and regardless of not getting that chance again. It’s something of a bittersweet song, when considered from this lyrical angle. The song’s musical side complements that bittersweet feel, too. the two elements together make for a song that is just as solid as the EP’s opener. It will leave audiences wanting more in the best possible way. Audiences will get to hear more as the band has a pair of live dates currently scheduled.
Audiences can hear more from We Are The Finale live now as the band currently has a pair of live dates confirmed. The band is scheduled to peform a live home town show tomrrow at Rocketown. It is also schedule to perform at Exit/In in Nashville, TN on January 17th. Audiences can purchase tickets for both shows online now and get the latest news from the band at http://www.facebook.com/WeAreTheFinaleband. Audiences can also keep up with all of the latest from the band online via Twitter at http://twitter.com/wearethefinale. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.