Although I know there’s a million great new bands out there, I find myself listening to the same crap I was listening to in high school day after day. Call it a sense of comfort, call it a love for nostalgia, call it whatever you want but it’s a problem. No matter what music I find that’s “new” it just doesn’t seem to compare to the golden age of pop-punk. At least that was my mind set until a friend from college sent me New Jersey based The View From Here’s EP “New Perspective” to check out and review.
The release kicks off with “Human Suit”, a song that has all of the elements that all of my favorite old school bands had. With moments of intensity followed by a moment of calm and sweetness which is quickly replaced with angst, this opening song instantly told me everything I needed to know about this band. I loved the song, loved the band, loved everything about this and I was only about four minutes into the EP.
“In Retrospect” is a bit of a more subdued song or at least that’s how it starts. It quickly changes from an almost quiet version of “Human Suit” to a very angsty and emotionally charged song that will have you feeling like you’re ready to wear your heart on your sleeve for all to see. The chugging guitars seem to pull the vocals along with ease creating a driving force that will have you wanting to put this song on repeat again and again and again. The chugging of the guitars is often replaced with sweeping strings of notes that are almost dizzying. Just as you feel like the song is starting to fade out, this five piece jumps into an ending that showcases the vocal range the singer that will end up reigning supreme throughout this release.
The third track, “Whatever Happened, Happened” takes the sense of calm created in “In Retrospect” and seems to amp it up just a bit. Kicking off with the unique guitar tone that stays true throughout this album, as soon as the vocals kick in I’m reminded of bands like Armor for Sleep and Spitalfield. There’s a sense of playfulness in this track as the guitars seem to hop from note to note. The quirkiness of the guitars may fool you into thinking this is an upbeat song but, when you start to listen to the lyrics, you realize it’s not a happy song at all. Much like the other songs on this release, the lyrics seem to reflect love and love lost with all of the heartbreak in-between. “Don’t look back as you throw this away”. I mean, if those lyrics don’t scream angst I don’t know what does.
“Chill” kicks off with a feature of the vocals with a tad bit of distortion but a whole lot of passion coming through the speakers. Without delay, the guitars, drums, and bass join in continuing the sound that I had become extremely comfortable with in the three previous songs. Much like the title says, “Chill” has a very laid back vibe to it. Without getting boring, sad, or slow, it just creates a different atmosphere than the other songs. There’s a sense of tenderness in the vocals that had yet to be presented in this album and truly shows a whole different side of The View From Here. That tenderness is replaced by the angst and power that seems to be this band’s signature and the song ends with you completely forgetting that there had ever been a laid back vibe to the track.
The five track EP closes with “Warning Signals”. The drums kick off this track and, with the quick addition of the guitars, it’s off to the races. This song definitely has much more of a Boys Night Out vibe to it with screeching guitars that fade in and fade out and vocals that sound like they have an almost echo-y effect on them. Much like the other four tracks, “Warning Signals” seems to be a great remembrance of the bands from years past while creating a sound that is uniquely A View From Here’s.
The album work is simple and bright. With only the band name and album name written on the front and the track listing on the back, there’s not much information. There’s no liner notes but really there doesn’t have to be. Listening to this band gives you all the thank yous you would need to know. The influences of this group are as clear as the passion that is conveyed through the recording. The lyrics don’t need to be written down because you can her them loud and clear and actually understand them (which is a nice change of pace from some of the metal stuff I’ve been listening to lately where you can’t even guess at what’s being said). The simplicity of the artwork, although it makes sense and works, is a bit misleading. Nothing about The View From Here’s album is simple. It’s a complex web of angst, sadness, anger, and relief.
I’ll never stop listening to the music of my childhood. I will still always revert back to albums by Armor for Sleep and An Early November and everything in-between but I will definitely be adding The View From Here’s ‘New Perspective’ to that playlist. Although an obvious homage to all of the greats from the emo/pop-punk scene, there’s a sense of newness to it that just can’t be ignored and something that is just so unique that it’ll have you humming along to the songs even after the first listen.
My Favorite Track(s): “Warning Signals”
Chances Of Getting A Noise Complaint While Listening To In An Apartment: 9 out of 10
At Home Moshability: 5 out of 10
What My Cats Thought Of It- Artemis continued to chase the fly he had been chasing all morning. Autumn laid on the table right behind my computer.
How Badly I Want To See This Performed Live: 11 out of 10
My Overall Rating: 5 out of 5
Check Out The Band Here:
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