I should be spending my Saturday morning working but I honestly just can’t find the concentration. I honestly can’t find the concentration for anything right now. Maybe it’s an abundance of sleep or the copious amounts of coffee going through my veins. Regardless, I can’t concentrate on anything. I shouldn’t beat myself up about it, right? I mean, I’m feeling energized for the first time in a long time but I really need to get stuff done. One of the few things that I am always able to concentrate on is new music so, come on Macseal– work some magic here.
The drumbeat that kicks off “Lucky For Some” instantly put me in a more focused mood somehow. The steadiness mixed with power is just what I need. The vocals come in with a super smooth feeling and I couldn’t help myself from just taking a deep breath and leaning back in my chair with yet another cup of coffee in my hand. The comfort that this opening track brings to me has me optimistic about what this eleven-track album has in store for my frantic Saturday morning.
“Without A Trace” brings a little danciness with it while still remaining very calm yet highly energized. I instantly started going through other band names in my head to try and relate this to something. All Get Out, The Early November, Super Whatevr… the names kept on coming but really none of them quite do Macseal justice. Sure, their sound is familiar but it is all their own and that makes it perfect.
The influences continued spinning around my head but seemed to calm for “Always Hazy”. This track brings so much heart to the table that it’s hard to write this as I listen to this track (I always write these reviews on my first listen if you haven’t caught onto that– pure word vomit– you’re welcome). It’s the heart that’s felt throughout this track that made it an instant favorite of mine. I was lost in this track but was brought back to reality with the amazing guitar part that kicks of “Mystery Inc.”. It has a very Remo Drive tone to it. I was brought to attention with this riff but was completely sold as the line “stuck in the shower recalling attempts at conversation” came through my speakers. I can’t tell you how many times I play through moments where I dropped the ball conversation-wise when I’m in the shower. Yes, it sounds weird but I’m sure you are sitting there, reading this, nodding to yourself. The lyrics of this track are absolutely perfect, real, and raw. “Mystery Inc.” got a few listens before I was able to move on to “Irving”.
“Irving” brings a bit of a retro vibe to the forefront. This vibe can be heard throughout this album but it seems to really come to fruition during this track while not feeling overdone or redone. One of the things that Macseal does absolutely perfectly is creating a very versatile vibe. I feel like these tracks can be interpreted as everything from sad songs to dancey numbers all depending on your mood and that’s a super hard thing to pull off. The way that Macseal seems to pull this off effortlessly is insane to me.
Again, it was the guitar part that pulled me into “Upside Down Again”. Without much of a fluctuation in volume, this guitar part mixed with the silky smooth vocals somehow creates a wave effect that is nothing short of mesmerizing. This song is short and sweet but it absolutely leaves a mark on this album and can not be written off but it also acts as the perfect lead in to “Nothing’s a Sure Thing, Shelly”. This track was another instant favorite of mine. It hits a little harder than the other songs. That could be due to the calming nature of “Upside Down Again” being its predecessor or it’s just a damn good song. Regardless, “Nothing’s a Sure Thing, Shelly” is a must-listen.
“Graduating Steps” isn’t my favorite track on this album. Although it’s a good song and still clearly that of Maceal, there’s something a bit too generic about this track that left me screaming at my speakers for the band to do something a bit more unique and a bit more distinct. Thankfully, “Problem Solved” brought back in the heart that I felt in “Always Hazy” but with a more somber spin on it. You can almost hear a sense of shakiness in the vocals that just drive every single word right into your heart. This hollowness of this song is definitely different than the rest of the album which makes this song stand out by default but I really urge you to take in this track word by word. I feel like that’s how it’s meant to be taken and that just adds to the power of “Problem Solved”.
Just as “Problem Solved” is a bit quiet, reserved, and full of emotion, “Picture Perfect” takes that vibe and twists it around. There’s a sense of power and almost bitterness that comes through on this track that is addicting. I struggle to call this track aggressive but you can feel the energy shift to something a bit more than previously heard on the first nine tracks of this album. This new feeling just proves the versatility of Macseal that you don’t get from many bands in this genre right now.
“Safe Spot” ends this album on a very bright note. It’s the perfect closer to ‘Super Enthusiast’ because it seems to be the culmination of the rest of the album but it also brings a whole different feeling to this album that, upon first listen, made me wish I had gotten more of throughout this album. It’s the type of track that caps off an album perfectly but also makes you want to dig into the artist a bit more.
Macseal definitely helped with my conundrum of having zero focus this morning but have changed that problem into my focus being squarely set on them and all of their music that I can find. I’ll take it.
My Favorite Track(s): “Always Hazy”; “Nothing’s a Sure Thing, Shelly”; “Safe Spot”
For Fans Of: The new-school pop-punk scene; Calmness with a sense of energy
Daydream-ability: 5 out of 10
What My Cats Thought Of It: Artie slept of the back of the couch; Autumn played in her water bowl
How Badly I Want To See This Performed Live: 7 out of 10
My Overall Rating: 7.4 out of 10
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