The Arizona-based alt. pop-rockers have been around since 2007 and have built themselves a loyal following over the years. After early tours supporting the likes of GOOD CHARLOTTE and THE ACADEMY IS…, 2019 welcomes them back with their 7th studio album, to remind everyone one that, while there’s a lot going tits up in the world, you’re doing alright. So without further ado let’s cast out any negativity and realise that we are indeed OK. The album opens up with a touch of macabre courtesy of “Slip The Noose” and it’s about a special encounter, leading to salvation and safety. That special someone that manages to let you see and think clearly, preventing you from doing something you’ll regret is so invaluable in life, and it’s delivered with an up-beat dose of happy-go-lucky indie-pop. It’s got some light riffs, some strings and some solid drum fills, yet manages to retain a sort of, MARK OWEN pop-vibe vocally.
“Numb Without You” lyrically highlights a juxtaposition of feelings and emotions that all flourish at once during a relationship; both negative and positive…and like marriage vows typically state, “For better or worse”, it means life and love will have up’s and down’s, but it’s testament to your character how you overcome the worst bits to flourish in the best, and this track champions that very mind set. With more string accompaniment, we’re given a sweeping emo-inspired pop anthem with soaring gang vocals and it’s got an impassioned chorus. Album highlight “Heaven, We’re Already There” takes that formula and refines it to deliver a much more intense, hook-laden synth-tinged, emo-rock banger that, in places reminds of KIDS IN GLASS HOUSES during the chorus and it’s an absolute belter of a track this, really well done.
Elsewhere, “One Sunset” with its energetic, tinny guitar tone and gradual build to a beaming chorus makes it impossible to not tap your foot and bob your head along to this, another fun, bubbly track, while “Tears Won’t Cry” retains that guitar tone and has certain, modern boy band charm akin to artists such as THE VAMPS or the like. “Flowers On The Grave” does allow for a bit of a come-down however ,with a 9-minute-plus acoustic driven pop ballad with some lulling piano…it DOES liven up courtesy of some rockier sequences and progressions, but overall the track ebbs and flows between sounding highly animated and anti-climactic at the same time. Despite this, the album as a whole just oozes a positive, enthusing simplicity resulting a genuinely easy-listening feel-good record. Like I mentioned earlier, the world is on its arse at the moment, and times are testing…but you need to be reminded that you’ve got this…you’re doing alright…you ARE OK. Unless you voted Conservative…you’re not OK…fuck you.