I ignored Sherwood’s first go around. Anything that would’ve been dubbed emo in the mid-2000’s I was fighting against as not being “pure” emo. Sherwood being signed to Myspace Records just made them an easy target to not listen to. Oh to be 22/23 and think you know everything about music. Thankfully, Sherwood has resurrected and given us new music so I can right the wrong I made in my early twenties.
Some Things Never Leave You is pop perfection and here just in time for all your summer playlists. The first thing that strikes you is the cleanness Nate Henry’s vocals. It’s not gritty or edgy or “punk” but clean and that lends itself really well to the emo pop sound that Sherwood has perfected. Outside/In is the records opening track and it hooks you instantly. An upbeat little pop song and if you’re really paying attention you’ll notice Joe Greenetz with a super great drum groove on the verse. It’s those small moments of great musicianship that could very easily get lost in the easy-going nature of the record.
Closer To You, Back Home, and Together Alone all have a great throwback 80’s vibe. Little Bit Better is one of my favorite tracks on the record. It’s just easy listening. New Year’s Eve, The First, and The Unknown are all great rock ballads. Bottle It Up is a straight up rock and roll anthem. Believe has some punk elements but doesn’t abandon Sherwood’s pop sensibility. Old Ways reminds me a lot of what Death Cab for Cutie has done lately. And I love that!
If I have any complaints about Some Things Never Leave You it’s that there aren’t those hooks that reach out and grab you and get stuck in your head for hours and days after you listen to them. As poppy and fun as this record is, there are no earworms.
Which doesn’t take away from how much I love this record. It’s a near perfect emo pop/rock record with a ton of musicianship and subtle intricacies in the arrangements to make it compelling multiple listens through. I am grateful for Sherwood’s return! 4.5 out of 5 Stars,
Sherwood’s reunion album, Some Things Never Leave You, will hit shelves on June 17th via Bad Christian Music. Today we get a taste of the record with a video for the album’s first single, Bottle It Up. You can watch the video at http://sherwoodmusic.net/
When I put 1001 on, I didn’t give a second thought to Zach Bolen’s previous endeavors. I liked Citizens/Citizens & Saints, but I was never a “huge” fan, and so I didn’t want that to cloud my experience with Bolen’s debut solo outing.
There are moments on 1001 that I absolutely love. And other moments I feel a little indifferent towards. The album’s opening track, 95, is the gem of the record. 95 is a classic, hook driven, rock and roll song. The palm muted guitar that kicks off the track is simple, yet intriguing and makes you want that moment when the song opens up. It brings to mind classic tracks from the likes of Springsteen and Mellencamp.
After 95 I have a tough time to 1001. And it’s not because Bolen isn’t talent or that the songs are lacking. It’s just not my style and doesn’t appeal to me in the same way it might appeal to someone who is more interested in singer/songwriter acts or the Springsteen/Mellencamp side of music. But that’s just not me.
I love What They’ll Never Find, but I find myself wanting the song to take a twist that it never does. I do find the tempo change at the end of the track fascinating and unexpected. It’s not the twist I was wanting, but it’s still great and innovative. Holding You Close is a great slow jam. I love the verses and the subtle, alt-country vibe on the chorus. The riff the opens up Leave Me Alone is cool, and the way the chorus hits the first time is fantastic, busting out of nowhere.
The rest of the record strikes me as good, but unremarkable to my ears. Which again, is hard to say. Because it’s not bad. It’s a case of sensibilities not lining up. I look hook driven music. Bolen’s music is deep, alt-country infused, and personal. And it doesn’t have those hooks that grab me and instinctually draw me to the record. The super hooky tracks I love.
I give the record 4 out of 5 Stars. There’s a bunch of moments and elements I love about 1001. BUt as an overall record, it’s just not my cup of tea. But it might be yours. So give it a spin.
House of Heroes have premiered the first single from their upcoming album Colors called Colors Run. You can watch the video below. Pre-orders for the bands new record can now be placed at http://shop.badchristian.com/collections/house-of-heroes
Premiering today exclusively at ZachBolen.com is “Leave Me Alone”, the first in his six part series entitled “Live & Alone”, Zach Bolen’s (Citizens & Saints) preview to his summer record 1001. Zach Bolen will be releasing 1001 this summer via Bad Christian Music and can be pre-ordered at ZachBolen.com