Backslashes And Bad Ideas

There's No Place Like Home

Written by: HES on 20/10/2013 20:12:02

It's not that often I put on a record and just get into it right away. Usually it takes a bit of time for both of us to adjust to each other, but the second EP by Backslashes And Bad Ideas "There's No Place Like Home" went pretty straight in. The band strikes a chord with an old post-hardcore junkie like me as the sound of the EP is very early Taking Back Sunday with a bit of double-pedaling. Another thing that makes this album sink in quite fast is the very nice production of it; the mix makes the guitars sound warm and welcoming. The band also chose to include an acoustic song "Southern Tea" which adds to the cosy atmosphere.

Vocally, lead singer Nick DePalo's voice is a bit shaky. It's a bit hard to figure out if it's a fault or a feature, as it is with Bright Eyes for example, where Conor Oberst uses this trick to sound vulnerable or hurt. I think that it would be better to either exaggerate it or pull it back completely, so it doesn't leave any questions. Having three guys on vocals the band makes sure to utilize its advantages, weaving the voices together - one being juvenile and almost lisping (another thing that makes me think of Taking Back Sunday), one screaming, one surfing the bottom notes and so on. A mesh of voices.

The EP also includes great variety in the non-acoustic tracks. The intro "North by Nor'easter" is an all instrumental execution of excellent musical craftsmanship while single "Defend Josh's Life Choices" has soaring, uplifting guitar hooks and the momentum of the poppier parts of the genre. "No Matter What Happens, Don't Ask Who" tries to trump that with even more cascades of high-pitched guitar and almost Hawthorne Heights "The Silence in Black and White"-era emotion and teenage-angsty mood. "Wearing Thin" is a classic, anthemic pop-punk banger - almost like The Starting Line back in the day with a complete yelling-choir crescendo in the end. To sum up; this is probably one of the most promising EP's I've heard this year - not only does it borrow from the former heroes of the genre - it floats easily between that and something very unique in the warm tones in a genre that usually attempts a colder soundscape. The sound is almost embracing and that combined with massaging my nostalgic muscles, sure makes it feel like there's no place like home.

Download: Wearing Thin, Defend Josh's Life Choices, Southern Tea
For The Fans Of: Hawthorne Heights, Taking Back Sunday, Brand New

Release Date 12.11.2013
Harbor Records

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