Rapid Fire Reviews: 2/25

Posted: by Sean Gonzalez

February has seen an insane amount of releases. The Alternative has been involved with a blinding amount but here is even more to start listening to as this month comes to a close.

Southtowne Lanes – Give Up The Ghost 

Possessing a blend of the early 2000s emo/screamo is Eugene Oregon’s Southtowne Lanes. With scratchy vocal melodies mixing with heart pouring screams, the group are constantly pumping their emotions into every ounce of Give Up The Ghost. While it starts off on a rather bright and near whiny note with “The Long Bright Dark,” the record transcends that and evolves into one of the better emo records I have heard this year. The guitar melodies blend wiry sounding licks with dark chords, allowing a soundscape for which the vocals to burst upon. The lyrics are intimate and gut wrenching, focused on the distraught feelings that come with watching friends struggle. “The Choir Of The Night (Summer)” is one tune that punched me directly with the combination of riveting vocals and familiar lyrics and the overall feel of the tune. “we are the darkness in the light. We are what’s left when he made it home. I am what I write, I am what I write. I am just floating along now.” 

Score: 8.25/10

Stickup Kid – Debris

A pop-punk album that sounds like what the cover is depicting, Debris is the newest release from California’s Stickup Kid. Buzzy guitar chords meet nasally vocal tones much like what people are used to, but the artistry that is Stickup Kid rival others in the genre. Instead of constantly whaling out of control like other groups, the vocals are controlled and only let loose when it feels like life is spiraling out of control, thus the reference to the cover. Instead of drowning in their misery the band feels a bit in power while watching the world burn, calling it magnificent rather than complaining about it. It’s a fresh take on a genre so melodramatic that it’s nice to hear a bit more apathy rather than constant hope or constant woe. Their ability to look beyond themselves and to the bigger picture, i.e. THE WORLD is one thing I clung too while listening to Debris.

Score: 7.75/10

New Mayans – Crimes

A while back, The Alternative premiered the track “Universe,” a spacey and moody tune full of atmosphere and lingering on the dance pop genre. New Mayans is back with their full project Crimes. Combining dance grooves with ambient textures keeps the sound fresh and exciting, as seen on “Glue Boiler.” The St. Louis group has a tendency to wind through upbeat prances and solemn ballads, with “Crimes” closing the album out combining just that. The operatic vocal styles can be a bit hard to be used to, but then again, New Mayans are not trying to be in the ordinary. 

Score: 6.75/10