All The Day Holiday—The Things We’ve Grown To Love—Linc Star Records
Take the atmospheric cool of Band Of Horses and very early ColdPlay, cut it with the melodic vocal talents of singers like Robert Smith (The Cure) and you have the infectious results of All The Day Holiday.
Formerly of Against The Day, a heavier and less textured project, these explorers are the exception to the conventional rock and roll screamo that we’ve all come to dread, citing divine inspirational passion and a solid vision for their ambient swirl of story and song.
The new CD, entitled The Things We’ve Grown To Love, has radio love affair written all over it, utilizing soulful composition skills, musicianship and the vibrant production magic of Matt Malpass (Copeland, Relient K, Lydia, Rookie Of The Year). These Cincinnati, Ohio, boys may be barely out of school but they’re already in the thick of things, having completed several tours and currently back out supporting the new Linc Star disc throughout Illinois, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut and New York.
The band’s sound is miles above the romanticized hipster sensitivity clones out there today, burning fast and hard in the styles mentioned above as well as that of old U2 and Psychedelic Furs-stoked fire, rising from those ashes as a unique and lethal quartet.
The 12 songs on the Linc Star disc are organic and well thought out in their arrangement. Songs like disc opener “Autumn” claim the listener’s attention fast, kicking machine gun stuttered drums, rich and melodic choruses all decked out in shimmering, chime-drenched guitars. Daniel Simmons’ vocals are commanding and multi-scalable, reminding me of Ben Bridwell with his sense of rising to grab just the right color and emotion for each song and not sounding predictable or stale.
“Greener” is an interesting off-the-beaten-4-4 path, building from the three quarter bass and drums as satellite-driven guitars cruise over the top, setting up Simmons’ introspective vocal theme well with lines like, “I look at the horizon and I wonder, where is my limit? I look at the sky and say, who will defend it? I’ve got one life and I’m gonna live it.” A message from a man on a mission? Probably, but it all makes sense here.
“Cities” alternates with sparse Ian Anderson (Yes)-vibed vocals and “Strawberry Fields” synth modulation, building into powerful choruses and spotlighting Malpass’ production style as the rhythm section thunders wonderfully, barely in control and bridled only by the flanking guitars of Nathan Frisch and the soaring gate of Simmons’ vocal.
The self-titled The Things We’ve Grown To Love is a Modest Mouse stomp ensconced in Supertramp lore and melancholy vocals that will make girls buy records, and disc closer “Invisible” is an acoustic and vocal number that brings this progressive foursome down into the bare bones realm, proving that when a song is good, it always shines bright, no matter what the instrumentation you use to play it.
ATDH retains the traditional best of the ‘80s vibe while showcasing fresh perspective in modern music with faith-based style and smarts. You’ll get a chance to see them this weekend over at The Wonder Bar in Asbury Park on this upcoming Tuesday, June 23. Come see a group that has something to say, all the day, and leave with a disc of the songs that you’ll grow to love, too. For further information go to lincstarrecords.com or myspace.com/allthedayholiday. The Wonder Bar is located on 1213 Ocean Ave, Asbury Park, NJ, (732) 502-8886.
Greg Wilkens—Oh Nine
Last Perfect Thing frontman Greg Wilkens takes time with this latest EP to explore a more intimate sound based around acoustic guitar and vocal away from the band. This disc is as sparse as it gets, bringing forth recollections of acoustic Train and Counting Crows as Wilkens runs through his six-song set.
“Right Time” utilizes open-voiced chordal structures and finger picking to set up the song, mixing falsetto and full voice dynamics as Wilkens harmonizes with himself here along the Jeff Buckley border. “Lala’ lends to a more bluesy jump style as Wilkens mixes raspy and sharp voice, political minded commentary shoots fast here with the warning that “you dig a hole deep enough, you cant get out and what are you gonna do?” Other highlights are “Hits Its Mark,” an intimate finger picker that brings forth recollections Ry Cooder and gives an introspective look into the life of a wanted gunslinger that’s “worth more dead than alive.” I like the way this builds rhythmically with the use of shakers in the chorus.
“Crush” sounds the way I like it, recorded rough and live at the Stone Pony as Greg grinds out a story on solo electric guitar with fans screaming and yelling in the background, vocals analog warm and slightly affected courtesy of Jason Dermer. This is a good project from a writer on the road to exploration. At first listen I wasn’t sure if he was comfortable as a solo artist, but as I revisited the disc a few times, I could tell that Greg Wilkens is at home behind a band or on his own, which isn’t a bad place to be. Check him out at myspace.com/lastperfectthing.
The Brighton Bar Weekend—June 18-19—Comas, Guns And Sasquatch!
Girl In A Coma (on Joan Jett’s label Black Heart Records) hits the Brighton stage this Thursday, June 18, along with Miss Derringer, Eastern Anchors, and Lightening Bill Woodcock. Girl In A Coma has had an interesting ride so far, touring with Frank Black, The Pogues, Tegan and Sara and Social Distortion. They have have also played Warped Tour and the True Colors Tour. Made up of sisters Nina (vocals/guitar) and Phanie Diaz (drums) and long-time friend Jenn Alva (bass), the name is a reference to The Smiths’ song, Girlfriend In A Coma. Friday, June 19, we’ll see the mighty Sasquatch & The Sickabillys along with Skeleton Key and special guests. For more info call the Brighton Bar directly at (732) 229-9676.