Late last year, punk rock band Bad Year released its new EP, Faded Memories through the independent record label Punkerton Records. The six-song record is a presentation that will find appeal among most pop punk acts. That is due in part to its featured musical arrangements, which will be discussed shortly. The lyrical themes that accompany the record’s musical content make for their own interest and will be discussed a little later. The record’s production rounds out its most important elements and will also be discussed later. Each item noted is crucial in its own way to the whole of Faded Memories. All things considered they may Faded Memories a record that most pop punk fans will find worth watching at least once.
Faded Memories, the new EP from independent pop punk outfit Bad Year, is a presentation that the band’s fans and pop punk fans in general will find worth hearing at least once. That is due in part to the record’s featured musical arrangements. The record’s musical content is being marketed as being similar in style in sound to works from the like of The Lawrence Arms, Alkaline Trio, and The Flatliners, yet in listening through each arrangements, the comparison to The Lawrence Arms could not be more incorrect. The comparison to the likes of Alkaline Trio and The Flatliners is loose at best. Right from the record’s outset audiences get more of a sense of works from the likes of Jimmy Eat World, what with the pairing of the specific guitar line and vocal styling. As the song progresses, the approach moves more in the direction of All American Rejects and to a lesser extent, Alkaline Trio.
‘Killing Me,’ the EP’s second song, takes listeners more in a direction of New Found Glory meets Alkaline Trio, what with the semi-screaming vocals. One could almost argue that there is a certain sense of skate punk in this approach. Even with that influence in mind, the New Found Glory comparison is still there, will keeping the song separate from anything from that band. ‘The End,’ the EP’s third entry has much the same approach.
The Alkaline Trio comparison returns in the EP’s next three songs, which compose the record’s second half. At the same time, the songs still manage to maintain their own identity, therefore showing more the appeal that the arrangements in whole are sure to offer listeners. All things considered, the musical side of Faded Memories is reason enough for pop punk fans and those of Bad Year to take in the band’s latest record.
While the musical content featured in Faded Memories is reason enough to hear the record, the lyrical themes that accompany the musical content makes for its own interest. The EP’s opener, ‘Charcoal Black’ is a prime example of the lyrics’ importance. In the case of this song, it comes across as being about letting go of the past and moving forward. That is, at least this critic’s interpretation. This is inferred the lead verse and chorus, which state, “As you close your eyes/And fall asleep/Suddenly you realize/You’ve been fed lies/So let some light in/A vision you can see/AS it falls down/Around you and me/You end up on your knees/And the clock meets midnight/And you can’t breathe/Charcoal black image of agony/We tried and we lied our hearts again/I’m dying here on this floor/Another faded memory.” The song continues in the second verse, “Open your eyes/Don’t say goodnight/Let the world go by/The imagery and empty scenes you’ve been fed.” This is basically telling people to realize they need to grab the day, realize what has happened in the past, that we keep allowing the negative to enter our lives. Again, this is just this critic’s interpretation. If in fact this is the intended message then it is a positive, uplifting message that will resonate with listeners.
‘Blackout’ is another example of the importance of this record’s lyrical themes. In the case of this song it is even more familiar, as it comes across as a song about a broken relationship and someone looking back on said relationship. This is inferred right from the song’s outset as the lead verse and chorus state, “You said this time/Things would be different/Shame on me/For actually believing it/I don’t want to know what you’re offering/So just let it go/Blacking out on California/Breaking down every time I try to leave/Blinded by sudden danger/Get me out of here/I’m dying.” This certainly comes across as being a statement about a broken relationship. The second verse follows that sense, as the subject seems to be dealing with the emotional fallout from the breakout. This as the verse states, “For now I’m screaming in silence/Can’t believe/The stale air beneath my wings/Don’t want your bleeding promises/Falling from your face/Doused in gasoline.” This is a theme that is certain to resonate with plenty of listeners, especially in its accessibility.
‘Killing Me’ is yet another example of the importance of the EP’s lyrical themes. In the case of this song, it comes across as being a story of a person sharing the story of someone who is battling mental health concerns and telling that story teller about the battle. This is inferred as the subject sings, “She tells me she’s alive today/And she never should have found her way/Now she tells me everything/That a part of her will never cut and bleed the same/She tells me she’s null and void/Empty inside her head/Everything’s been killing her/A calloused thought/Of never waking up again/Sitting on the ledge again/Trying to fly away/Forgetting everything you meant to me/Ships will sail/Winds prevail/She is killing me.” This sounds like the subject is telling the story of that person’s confession while also dealing with his/her own emotional struggles in dealing with that person’s own struggles. It makes for an interesting concept that again, is just this own critic’s interpretation. To that end it makes clear once more the importance of the record’s lyrical content. When this and the other themes addressed here are considered along with the record’s other themes, the whole gives audiences all the more reason to give Faded Memories a chance. The collective themes are just part of what makes the EP worth hearing, too. The record’s production is also of note.
The production that went into the EP is important because of its role in the record’s general effect. The balance of the vocals and instrumentation from one song to the next is itself worth of applause. That is because it ensures that at no point do the vocals get muddied by the instruments. At the same time, the instruments are themselves balanced with each other throughout each song. Case in point is the presence of the bass line in ‘Paranoid Failure.’ While it is a supporting role here, it still has a prominent role at points throughout the song, and it compliments so well, the guitars and drums. That is a testament to the attention paid to each line here. The energy in ‘Blackout’ and the control of the vocal levels on the other side of the glass helped to really bring out the best of the band in this case, too, really heightening the emotional impact of the song. It is just one more example of the importance of the album’s production. When the production in each song is considered alongside the role of the content in general, the whole makes Faded Memories a mostly enjoyable offering for any pop punk fan.
Faded Memories, the new EP from Bad Year, is a presentation that is sure to appeal to the band’s established audiences and to pop punk fans in general. That is evidenced in part through the record’s musical arrangements. The arrangements lend themselves easily to comparison to works from the likes of Jimmy Eat World, Alkaline Trio, and New Found Glory. At the same time, the songs still manage to maintain their own identity separate from the works of those comparative bands, even with the similarities in mind. The band is to be applauded for walking that line as well as it does in each arrangement. The lyrical themes featured in this record make for their own interest because of their accessibility and familiarity. They ensure listeners’ engagement and entertainment just as much as the record’s musical content. The production that went into each song puts the finishing touch to the record’s presentation. It creates a positive general effect in each song. Each item examined is important in its own way to the whole of the record. All things considered they make Faded Memories a presentation that will find its own place among the ranks of recently released pop punk records.
Faded Memories is available now. More information on the EP is available along with all of Bad Year’s latest news at:
Riotfest festival organizers announced this week, full album sets from a number of the bands on the event’s bill.
The original lineup of The Misfits will have a full album set of its debut album, Walk Among Us at the festival in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the album’s release. Yellowcard will take on its album, Ocean Avenue, while The Menzingers will perform its album, On The Impossible Past, celebrating the 10th anniversary of its release.
Rocket From The Crypt will perform its album, Group Sounds in whole while The Get Up Kids will perform its album, 4 Minute Mile in celebration of its 25th anniversary. Fear will perform its album The Record in celebration of that record’s 40th anniversary.
Riotfest is scheduled to take place Sept. 16-18 at Douglass Park in Chicago, IL. Tickets are available here.
My Chemical Romance is the festival’s scheduled headliner. Nine Inch Nails, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Sunny Day Real Estate and others are scheduled to perform at the festival. Among the others on this year’s festival bill are the likes of Ice Cube, Descendants, and Jimmy Eat World.
More information on the 2022 Riotfest festival is available at:
The song’s musical arrangement serves as its foundation. Where the musical arrangement in the album’s title track was more alt-rock in its sound and stylistic approach, this song is much more defined in its pop punk approach. Audiences can hear influence from the likes of Jimmy Eat World here. That is due to the harmonies in the song’s instrumentation and in the vocals. The song barely tops the two-and-a-half minute mark, but in that time, it will leave audiences feeling fulfilled.
The lyrical theme featured in the new single is clear cut, as Kulick pointed out in a prepared statement.
“This song is about growing up around people you don’t fit in with,” he said. “I felt like a was dropped in my hometown from some place in California, and I was looked at as if I was from another planet. I didn’t really respect what a lot of people were doing (or really not doing) with their lives, and I was being pushed down for having aspirations.”
The video for the new single echoes Kulick’s statement. That is because it features him singing to the song in various spots in a high school yearbook and in various other points in his youth.
Everyone I Know Will Die is available now through ENCI Records. More information on Kulick’s new album and single is available along with of all his latest news at:
Punk and emo fans have something special to look forward to as summer winds down.
The annual Four Chord Music Festival is scheduled to return this year for its eighth year. The festival is scheduled to take place Sept. 9 and 10 at Wild Things Park in Washington, PA. This year marks the first time that the festival will be a two-day event.
Featured in this year’s lineup are the likes of Jimmy Eat World, Pennywise, and All Time Low. The festival is presented by Four Chord Music and Drusky Entertainment.
Festival founder Rishi Bahl talked about this year’s even in a prepared statement.
“This is it,” he said. “This is the festival I had dreamed of being able to put on since this started in my apartment 7 years ago in Pittsburgh. I can’t wait.”
Two-day general admission passes start at $155 while individual day passes will start at $86. VIP Two-day passes are listed at $350 while single-day VIP passes will cost audiences $186. VIP passes include extras, such as all day access to the VIP-only tent, elevated viewing platform, special acoustic performances from bands on the bill, and private bar.
Tickets and VIP passes are available now.
More information on the Four Chord Music Festival is available along with all of its latest news at:
Independent rock band Tears of a Fallen Hero debuted its new single and its companion video this week.
The band premiered its new single, ‘Come Closer‘ and its companion video Friday. The song’s musical arrangement is a surprisingly engaging work. Its emo pop/rock style sound and approach is comparable to works from the likes of Jimmy Eat World and other similar acts.
The lyrical theme that accompanies the song’s musical arrangement centers on the all too familiar topic of romantic relationships, as the band pointed out in a collective statement.
“The song is about the vacuum that can appear before you know if you are a couple or not,” the statement reads. “Are we together or not? Why do we have to play this game? I know how I feel, do you feel the same? This is one of the songs that took us the least time making. It just fell into place instantly.”
The video for ‘Come Closer’ is interesting in its own right. A young woman is featured sitting along an unidentified waterfront setting at points throughout, seemingly contemplating the very topic that the band’s statement notes. Those visualizations are complimented with footage of the band performing its single in a dug out area of a field.
More information on Tears of a Fallen Hero’s new single and video is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:
Jimmy Eat World will open the new year with a series of new livestream performances.
The band announced Tuesday, it will host what it has dubbed the “Phoenix Sessions” on Jan. 15, Jan. 29, and Feb. 12. The concerts, which will be put on through Danny Wimmer Presents, will feature full performances of the band’s albums Surviving, Futures, and Clarity.
A trailer for the performances is streaming here. Tickets for the events are available here. Tickets are available by themselves and in three-ticket bundles with early bird prices set for $14.99 and and $39.99 respectively for the singles and bundles.
Front man Jim Adkins talked about the concerts during a recent interview.
“We are always looking for ways to challenge ourselves, to do things as music fans that we think would be cool for OUR fans,” he said. “We came up with the idea of presenting a series of concert films centered around a few specific albums (for now) and performing them on a different level. It isn’t the way we normally play a show and it’s definitely something new for how we approach a performance, but we haven’t been able to share the experience with our fans in over a year… so here we go!”
More information on Jimmy Eat World’s upcoming shows is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:
Upstart pop punk outfit A Few Too Many is gaining fame across the Atlantic.
The UK-based pop punk band premiered the lyric video for its new single ‘Someday’ Sept. 29. now the single, whose musical arrangement will appeal to fans of fellow pop punk acts, such as Sum 41 and New Found Glory, and emo band Jimmy Eat World, is starting to make waves in the United States.
The song’s musical arrangement is just one part of its appeal. Its lyrical theme encourages listeners to let the past stay in the past, and to focus on moving forward in life. the pairing of that positive message and the song’s equally familiar, infectious musical arrangement will appeal to a wide range of listeners.
The band addressed the song’s lyrical theme in a prepared statement.
“Our single Someday represents our determination to continue to chase our dreams despite setbacks, disappointments and toxic relationships,” the statement reads. “This song is our survival anthem.”
A Few Too Many was recently called one of Alternative Press magazine’s “10 Rising UK-Based Pop Punk Bands You Need To Hear.”
‘Someday’ is available to stream and download here.
More information on A Few Too Many’s new single is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:
Pop punk band The Carolyn debuted the video for its latest single last week.
The band debuted the video for its single ‘Heavy Eyes‘ Thursday. The video features the band members — Andrew Patrick (vocals, guitar), Oliver Conlon (bass, vocals), and David Mulazzi (drums) — together in a warehouse type setting.
The musical arrangement featured in this song, the second from the band’s debut album This Will Begin To Make Things Right, is a work that will appeal to fans of Jimmy Eat World. That is evidenced through the melodies crafted in the guitar line and harmonies from the bass. Patrick’s vocals add even more to that appeal.
According to Patrick, the song’s lyrical theme tackles the topic of sleep deprivation. Ironically the band has launched its own coffee line, named after the group’s new single.
Patrick talked about the connection between the song and coffee line in a recent interview.
“Oli and I rely on caffeine to get through our daily routine; therefore, it made sense to name this endeavor after a song which speaks to that,” he said.
Conlon expanded on Patrick’s comments.
“Revisiting ‘Heavy Eyes’ with a new video and coffee blend was instrumental in making me realize I really need this band,” he said. “This is what I do. If I keep focusing on this, I’m at least moving forward in something I can control.”
The Carolyn’s new coffee blend is available as part of a bundle that includes a copy of the band’s new album and t-shirt. The bundles are available here.
More information on The Carolyn’s new single, video, album and coffee line is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:
Independent singer-songwriter Jake Allen is scheduled to release his new album Friday. Allen’s fourth full-length studio recording, Affirmation Day is a 56-minute presentation that is full of deeply emotional compositions that will appeal easily to fans of John Mayer just as much as they will to fans of the emo world. This sounds like an odd juxtaposition, but it truly is the case here. The fruition of Allen’s recent global travels, the 12-song record will have its own longevity, as it will take many listens for audiences to get to the point in which they start picking their favorite songs. One of the most notable of the album’s songs is its most recent single, ‘On The Run.’ It will be examined shortly. ‘Things We’ll Never Find,’ which comes later in the record’s run, is another example of how much the album has to offer audiences. It will be discussed a little later. ‘Clear,’ which comes just past the album’s midpoint, is another notable entry in this latest offering from Allen. It will also be discussed later. When these three songs are considered with the rest of Affirmation Day’s entries, the record in whole becomes a presentation that audiences are sure to find quite endearing.
Jake Allen’s fourth full-length studio recording, Affirmation Day, is a presentation that will move audiences from beginning to end. That is proven through its musical and lyrical contents throughout, not the least point of which being the album’s latest single, ‘On The Run.’ The song’s musical arrangement takes a minimalist approach while also using Allen’s signature finger picking style. The subdued vibe of the overall arrangement serves to illustrate the seeming theme of a romantic relationship that is presented in the song’s lyrical side.
The noted seeming theme is inferred right from the song’s lead verse as Allen sings, “It’s been keeping me awake/All the heart that you put into the smiles that you fake/It’s been weighing on my soul/All the strength that I’ve lost/To find a way to gain control/through the lens of an untrained eye/if the life I’m searching for/is the life that I want to find.” It is inferred just as much in the song’s second verse, which finds Allen singing, “So how can I erase/That mirage in your eyes/On an unreachable place/’Cause when I give myself to you/there’s so much you don’t take/Even when you say you do/So how can I be sure/Under reign of a fallen star/If who you say you are/is who you really are.” The song’s chorus puts the final touch to the nod argument. That is because Allen sings, “So I’ll always be on the run/’Til the world shows me who to become/But if only I’d ever need a friend/I would run to be with you/Until I run away again.” This leaves no doubt as to the song’s lyrical theme. The way in which Allen presents the topic is familiar, but not overly so. It is still is a somewhat original, poetic presentation that will move listeners, especially when it is considered along with the song’s musical arrangement. Keeping both sides of the song in mind, they make the song just one example of what makes Affirmation Day worth hearing. ‘Things We’ll Never Find’ is another of the album’s positive points.
‘Things We’ll Never Find’ presents a musical arrangement that once again presents the noted John Mayer influence, but also features a touch of emo influence. Speaking more specifically, the song presents a sound similar to that of works from early Jimmy Eat World. That is the case both in its softer moments and in its more energetic chorus. It sounds like an odd combination in itself, but it works here in its own way. What is interesting about this catchy pop-rock presentation is that it is an interesting counter to the song’s seeming lyrical theme.
The lyrical theme that ‘Things We’ll Never Find’ comes across as being one of those familiar metaphorical works that addresses the issue of love found and lost. It hints at the old adage that ‘‘Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.’ That is most clearly inferred in the song’s chorus, which finds Allen singing, “You took my hand in such a radiant scene/With a face that only manifests in dreams/You slipped right through my fingers/Now your voice is gone/But the song plays on for good.” As Allen transitions into the song’s second verse, he adds, “So can we let go of these gifts we’ve left behind/And find understanding in the things we have/And the things we’ll never find.” The song that he mentions playing on for good is addressed in the song’s lead verse, in which Allen sings, “Late at night/A melody came/But in the morning/It just didn’t sound the same/It slipped through my fingers.” Here again is that seeming statement about love found, but lost, but the addition of the song’s musical arrangement to the presentation gives the song a unique touch. It does not take the standard oh-woe-is-me route thanks to that wording and musical presentation. Rather, it takes a more positive outlook. This is something that plenty of audiences will appreciate. Keeping this in mind along with the appeal of ‘On The Run,’ the two songs collectively even more what makes Allen’s new album appealing. They are just a portion of what makes the record worth hearing, too. ‘Clear,’ which comes just past the album’s midpoint, is one more of the album’s positive points.
The musical arrangement featured in ‘Clear’ shows even more of an emo influence than that of ‘Things We’ll Never Find.’ Adding to that is that unlike the noted song, the Jimmy Eat World influence is replaced here with something more along the lines of Yellowcard and Simple Plan in an acoustic vein. To that end, this expands the album’s appeal even more. When this is considered along with the song’s lyrical content, that appeal and interest grows that much more.
The lyrical content that accompanies this song’s upbeat musical arrangement is so interesting because it seems to present the theme of learning to let go. This does not have to necessarily relate to the topic of a breakup. It could also connect to the issue of letting go of a loved one who has died. This is inferred as Allen sings, “So vivid I remember/the day you said goodbye/Your fading eyes saw through me/And gazed up to the skies/And I though of stories/Allegories to find some higher view/But between the thoughts was/Where I lost the fiction and found the truth.” The seeming message becomes clearer in the song’s second verse, as Allen sings, “So I hold on to that image/The last of you I saw/The final look you gave me/The ending to it all/An incarnation’s set duration is so ambiguous/Do we shy and falter/Or try to alter the frame of what this is.” The song’s third and final verse hints even more at the noted theme, as Allen sings, “So I’m pushing my heart into/A disillusioned place/And freeing myself from all these/Fragile thoughts of holding on/So to see your transformation through unconditioned eyes/It’s funny to believe that/You could ever say goodbye.” That final statement about a person having to come to terms with someone “saying goodbye” either in person or metaphorically (when they die), the noted message gains even more ground. Again, the semi-upbeat musical arrangement that accompanies the song’s lyrical content makes for its own interesting listen. When the two sides are coupled, they make song even more powerful, as it seems to present a sense of accepting the noted loss, regardless of the situation. It reminds listeners that loss does not have to be entirely bad. It’s yet another way in which the album shows its strength. When the song is considered with the other songs examined here and the rest of the album’s entries, the whole of the album becomes a unique presentation that is another success from Allen.
Jake Allen’s fourth new album Affirmation Day is a positive new offering that audiences will themselves affirm is worth hearing. That is thanks to its musical and lyrical content alike. Each of the songs examined in this review support the noted statements. When they are considered along with the rest of the album’s entries, the album in whole becomes a work that continues Allen’s ongoing success yet again.
More information on Jake Allen’s new album is available along with all of his latest news at:
A little more than a month ago, a little band by the name of Paul Johnson & The About Last Nights released its debut EP Give Up The Ghost. The five track record is the type of presentation that shows how easily today’s unsigned band could be tomorrow’s next big mainstream hit. It shows this through the diversity in its musical arrangements and the depth of its collective lyrical content. From the infectious southern rock riffs and happy-go-lucky lyrics of ‘Hollywood’ to the Foo Fighters-esque arrangement and equally playful lyrics of ‘American Story (Adrenaline)’ to the Jimmy Eat World style arrangement and thoughtful lyrics of ‘Burn It Down’ and beyond, this record is a solid start for Paul Johnson & The About Last Nights. It is a record that leaves listeners hoping this band won’t give up the ghost any time soon.
Paul Johnson & The About Last Night’s debut EP Give Up The Ghost is a strong start for the Mississippi-based unsigned rock outfit. That is due to the solid mix of musical genres on which the band touches over the course of the record’s five-song, 18-minute run and its lyrical content. The record’s penultimate song ‘Hollywood’ is just one of the songs included in this record that supports that statement. The song’s guitar-driven musical arrangement is easily likened to arrangements composed by Black Stone Cherry, Buckcherry, The Black Crowes and other similar acts. Band namesake and vocalist Paul Johnson even conjures thoughts of Buckcherry front man Josh Todd (at least in this critic’s ears) through his vocal delivery here. When that is set alongside the amalgam of musical influences evident in the song’s arrangement, it makes the arrangement instantly infectious and certain to be a fan favorite.
The song’s musical arrangement is only one part of what makes it notable. Its lyrical content, like its musical arrangement also conjures thoughts of the aforementioned acts and will put a smile on any listener’s face with its tribute to all of the things that make the south great. That tribute is evident as Johnson sings, “You know I like to see my toes in the sand/You couldn’t drag me away from Dixieland/Kinda got the feeling you won’t/Just take another breath/Don’t/Don’t take me to Hollywood/Keep me in the south where the weather is good/Southern girls doin’ like they should/Don’t take me/Don’t take me to Hollywood.” He goes on to sing in the song’s second verse, “I always see how they like to put us down/Don’t really care for the big town/Kinda got the feeling you won’t/Just take another breath/Don’t/Don’t take me to Hollywood.” Plain and simple, this is a tribute to the band’s home state and region, being that the band is from Hattiesburg, Mississippi. That upbeat, playful tribute, when coupled with the song’s musical arrangement makes the song in whole one of the record’s best offerings if not its best. Collectively, they make this song a clear example of what makes Give Up The Ghost such a standout offering and solid start from Paul Johnson & The About Last Nights. It is only one of the songs that serves to support these statements. ‘American Story (Adrenaline)’ is another song that shows why this record stands out.
‘Hollywood’ with its simple title, lyrical content and musical approach is a clear example of what makes Give Up The Ghost a solid first effort from Paul Johnson & The About Last Nights. It musical arrangement and lyrical alike are both so infectious thanks to their simplicity. As impressive as it is, it is only one of the songs included in this record that makes the EP stand out. ‘American Story (Adrenaline)’ is another example of what makes this record worth hearing. As with ‘Hollywood,’ that is due in part to the song’s musical arrangement. The alignment of the song’s guitar and keyboards couples with Johnson’s vocal delivery to instantly conjure thoughts of Foo Fighters. Drummer Zach Lewis’ time keeping adds to that comparison even more. From start to finish, the song’s arrangement easily keeps listeners engaged. It is only one part of what makes the song so enjoyable. The song’s lyrical content is just as important to note as its musical arrangement.
Unlike the lyrical theme presented in ‘Hollywood,’ this song’s lyrical theme clearly centers on a woman. That is inferred easily in the song’s chorus in which Johnson and his band mates sing, “She’s in love/With a fast car/Burn out…./She’s a new American story…little worry. Deciphering the full extent of the words is difficult without lyrics to which one can refer. However, between this and other elements that can be deciphered, it becomes clear that Johnson and company are singing about a woman. That is especially certified in the song’s final moments as the band sings in unison, “She keeps my fantasies alive” All things considered it is clear that the band is paying tribute to a woman or a certain type of woman. It stands completely apart from the theme of ‘Hollywood’ and the rest of the record’s songs, and is just as upbeat as those other themes. Keeping that in mind, when this tribute is set alongside the song’s equally upbeat musical arrangement, the pairing makes the song in whole stand solidly on its own merits; merits that make the song yet another example of what makes the EP such a surprise. It is not the last of the songs that stands out on the record either. ‘Burn It Down’ is notable, too.
‘Hollywood’ and ‘American Story (Adrenaline)’ both show in their own way that Give Up The Ghost is one of this year’s top new EPs. The songs’ musical arrangements and lyrical themes stand out from one another just as much as they do the record’s other featured songs. As much as they stand out, they are not its only key compositions. ‘Burn It Down’ is one more of the record’s key songs. As with the previously discussed songs, that is due in part to the song’s arrangement. This time around, listeners minds will go to Jimmy Eat World in listening to this arrangement right from the song’s outset. This critic easily could be wrong, but the song’s lyrical content seems like a coming-of-age story of sorts. That is inferred as Johnson sings in the song’s lead verse, “I dropped out of school to find my way/A dirty kid in football games/A loser on the street/Had a hunger for the underneath/A family divorced too much to bear/The misinformed will meet you there/Like the liars and the delphines/Is there nothing left for a kid to believe…the pain of knowing I may never feel better off than where I started.” The story continues in the song’s second verse and ends with a mention of a “21-gun salute to disobey” in the finale. The song’s chorus, in which the song’s subject seemingly looks back on the past in another way, adds even more depth to the song. When this is all considered along with the song’s musical arrangement, the whole of the song’s musical and lyrical content makes fully clear why this song stands out. Collectively, the depth of that musical and lyrical content—and its distinct identity separate from ‘Hollywood,’ ‘American Story (Adrenaline)’ and the record’s other two songs—shows even more why the EP in whole stands out, too. When it is joined with all of the EP’s other offerings, the record in whole proves, once more, why it is one of this year’s top new EPs, an equally solid start for Paul Johnson & The About Last Nights, and a record that will leave listeners hoping the band won’t “give up the ghost” anytime soon.
Give Up The Ghost is a surprisingly impressive first effort from Paul Johnson & The About Last Nights. The record only spans five songs and 18-minutes, but in that run, the record exhibits great musical and lyrical diversity. From start to finish, each song presents its own identity, separate from its counterparts. From fun-loving to truly in-depth, the songs present a wide range of emotions in both music and lyrics. All things considered, the record proves to be one of the year’s best new EPs, and gives hope that the band won’t “give up the ghost” any time soon. More information on Give Up The Ghost is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at: