Thursday, June 4, 2015

Cassette Review: Analog Sunset "Shapes" (Further Sky Records)

[$6 // Edition of 50 //]

For me, it doesn't matter where artists are from or where they make their music so much as that I make note of it because I feel great music will triumph in any environment, and yet I've had so many cassettes come through from various countries and those lands which are foreign to me probably helped shape and mold that which I heard in some manner.   The only reason why I bring up the location idea now is because Analog Sunset is from my home state of Connecticut, a state which I grew up, moved away from for about ten years and have since returned to for various reasons.    So how out of touch am I with the Connecticut music scene?   Well, let's just say that when I knew the drummer for that band that has that "American Idol" winner guy in it, he was still in Grover Dill.

In the time that I spent listening to what would fall between the genres of indie rock and just plain out "emo", when I started any way, it seemed like every band was just trying to copy one another or at least trying to copy either Saves the Day or Taking Back Sunday.   That was such a long time ago though that music has not only evolved but it has produced more influences to the point where hearing something that sounds straight up like something else is rather rare and not something I seem to encounter these days.    An example of this is the melodic indie pop rock that is crafted by Analog Sunset on "Shapes".    It's a distorted pop punk, where as I tend to think of pop punk in the traditional sense as having a cleaner sound, and in that way it also tends to resembles The Movielife without the hardcore aspect that made them so distinct.

As the songs go on, I begin to hear more familiar references for me, yet things still that I don't hear enough in music these days.   For one thing, some of these songs sound like they could be related to the Bayside album "Sirens and Condolences" and anyone who has followed the musical journey of Bayside as I have would know that all of the Bayside albums can seemingly be linked together, as they all sort of share that same "Bayside sound" except for this first one, which is just more raw somehow-- there is just something different about it compared to the albums which would follow and that piece of the puzzle, that spark, can be found in these songs by Analog Sunset.

Naturally, when things shift to the Bayside influence I just as quickly tend to go to Smoking Popes and as such, yes, Analog Sunset has some of that going on as well.    From calling it "Pinback meets Piebald" or simply thinking of it as being a band that would be featured on the "Angus" soundtrack, the crunchy guitar chords that surround the overall melodies just create a sound that reminds me of the first time I heard Bayside (which was a magical time) and really "Shapes" is just everything that I love and have ever loved about music that people would put in that "pop punk/emo" genre, even if I didn't believe it necessarily fit in there so snugly.

Knowing that this music still exists out there (and in Connecticut!) makes me happy for the future of music in general just because it's showing that pop punk/emo hasn't ruined everything but rather managed to influence some great sounds.   Should The March Divide ever decide to play in Connecticut and if they were on my dream tour with I Am the Avalanche and Bayside somehow, I'd really like to see them not with Analog Sunset as just the "local opener" here in Connecticut, but to take Analog Sunset on the road with them for the full tour as that would just be such the complete package you simply could not miss it.

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