Monday, July 7, 2014

Stand Up ***New Shallow Side EP!!!!***

I am so freaking excited to be doing this review, you have no idea!  I have been sitting quietly on this EP for several months now, and had the hardest time not exploding all over Facebook with excitement. I haven't loved an album this much since high school.  I have literally had it on replay the entire time.  I had the lyrics memorized within two days!  Shallow Side has definitely come a long way from Home Today, which was an amazing EP in itself!  I am most impressed with their ability to conform to a variety of demographics.  I can assure you that there is something for everyone on this album.

I loved it so much that I had a hard time figuring out how I wanted to approach this review.  I decided that I'm going to just go track by track and tell you what I think of each song.  I can't pick one to gush about, so they're all getting the treatment!  So, without further ado.......

Photo Credit TC Pics

Stand Up
The title track off the new EP is the first indication that these boys are gearing up for the big leagues.  This song takes the already amazing Shallow Side sound and gives it the Spinal Tap treatment.  (If you're too young to understand, Google it.  You need to get it.)  These guys have very clearly cranked up the volume and definitely beefed up their sound.  Lyrically, this song takes on a new maturity with its "stick it to the man" attitude.  Vocally, Eric has taken his sound to new heights....literally.  He has found new vocal tricks to add to his arsenal, and this song as well as all the others on the EP really show what he's capable of.

We Won't Die
So, of all of the tracks, this one I have to say is my favorite.  It's hard to choose, but there's one key little element in this track that gets me in the gut every time.  I've always said that if a song can give me a physical reaction, it will be a song I love for life.  For Shallow Side, this is that song.  As much as I love them, this is the first song that really "got me".  To get a little personal here, I have been in a pretty weird place lately and this song basically describes my attitude at the moment.  "We don't have to prove  we're perfect to know we all deserve it....."......that line gets me every time!  Again I'm going to gush about Eric's vocals.  To me, this song is the epitome of what he is truly capable of.  As the song pushes into the chorus, he uses a falsetto swing that most singers can't come close to pulling off while staying on key.  This coupled with an incredible bass line pushing the tempo up gives me a gut reaction to this song.  It excites me.  It pumps me up.  The combination of lyric, vocal, and tempo changes makes for what I consider an anthem for this generation.

My Addiction
Want a truly southern experience?  Listen to the intro of this song, and the sound of crickets and banjos will quickly transport you to the boys home state of Alabama.  Don't get comfortable though, because just about the time you've settled in to a nice peaceful daydream about swimming in the creek, Rocket and Seth come in with a face melting riff that rivals some of the heavier bands out there like Avenged Sevenfold, Five Finger Death Punch, and Gemini Syndrome.  This was the first track that I had the privilege of hearing, and I was absolutely floored with how full and rich the sound was.  It is unlike any other Shallow Side song.  This track also brings back something that, for some reason or another, has been forgotten by most bands out there today......the guitar solo.  The guitar guys (Justin and Seth) really show their chops in this track.  The solos are flawless and the riffs are full.  It's so fun watching these guys on stage.  The intricacies of their guitar work constantly keeps its integrity whether they're standing next to a mic or doing jump/spins off of a box mid solo.  I mean it when I say that these two are incredibly talented writers and performers.

This song is what I consider to be Shallow Side's "power ballad".  It's a slow love song that slowly builds the intensity over about four minutes, culminating in some pretty amazing riffs at the end.  The songs lyrics definitely tell a story of loss, and I can see this being a classic break up/long distance relationship type song in the future.  While I do love this song, I have to say it's a very bold step for the band.  They've taken a chance on adding in some keyboards, played by the multi-talented Seth Trimble.  This is a new sound all-together for them.  While Home Today is a slow song as well, it is done acoustically, where Crazy is not acoustic at all.  It has the softness of a love song, with the rugged edges of a rock ballad.  To me, this song's structure reminded me a lot of old 80's hair bands like Cinderella and their track "Don't Know What You've Got".  While there is a vast difference in the sound, the song builds in a similar fashion....slow and delicate at the beginning to rough and raw at the end.  It's as if the band is literally building on the emotion that the lyrics are evoking.  Truly an amazing and beautiful track.

Raise It Up
I know the guys will be reading this, so I hope it doesn't piss them off when I say that this song is, in my opinion, the track that will inevitably cause a flood of thirteen year olds to head their way, crying, screaming, and fainting all in the name of Shallow Side.  Now hold on....before you think that's an insult, understand that this is a very good thing!  It shows that Shallow Side can cater to any demographic without selling out to get the cool kid points!  I love the fact that every track on this EP caters to a different demographic.  This song is youthful all the way around.  The lyrics are young in spirit, talking about "finding a new scene" etc.  The tempo is upbeat, and in this track I feel Heath really shines.  The off beat rhythm is really cool, and the drum fills during the vocal holds are full of bass and don't lose any steam at all.  This is a very fun, happy, but also slightly smart ass song.  I don't want to say that the boys have written the perfect "pop rock" song, but.......they may have just done it.  If this converts a single One Direction fan, I will be able to die happy.

All in all, this album is a real masterpiece.  If you don't believe me, check the Spotify popularity stats.  Want to know something really impressive?  Every single track has the exact same rating.  That means that every track has the exact same number of plays.  That tells me that this is an album that you can put in and listen to from beginning to end, over and over, without ever skipping a single track.  For anyone who's interested in purchasing the album, it is available on iTunes.  You can also listen to it on Spotify! You can check out the official video for "My Addiction" at this address:

Eric, Heath, Seth, Justin, Cody, and Nick........thanks for everything you've included me in, and for constantly inspiring me to push forward in my chosen profession!  Mad love and respect to my favorite group of guys in the whole world.  Jess, if you read this.....#tits.  That's all.  Oh, and thanks Tracie for the pictures!  To all my other Shallow Side family, thanks for being such wonderful pals!  I can't wait to see where the ride takes all of us, but most of all I can't wait to see these guys fill Madison Square Garden!!  -Lolli