Suits Boulevard

Oblivious

Written by: PP on 09/02/2016 22:32:46

It's refreshing when a band doesn't try to hide what they are and embrace it fully, as Suits Boulevard from Fredericia, Denmark have done on their debut album "Oblivious" just as they did on their EP "Broken Wings" last year. They play a straight-forward brand of alternative rock that falls directly into the same mainstream pop/rock category where you'll find bands like Lifehouse, Goo Goo Dolls, Vertical Horizon, 3 Doors Down, Matchbox Twenty and countless other American radio rock bands, where a single-driven songwriting dominates the album-driven approach completely. It's telling that, to date, we're yet to receive a release from the band with a distinct track numbering in place rather than a collection of songs passed as an EP or an album or whatever, simply because in this category of songwriting, a continuous flow of an album just isn't as important as it is in many other genres.

That doesn't need to be a bad thing, however. In practice, it means all songs are potential pop rock hits because the focus has been on writing great songs compositionally rather than accept compromises based on artistic integrity. So yes, songs like the balladic "Everything" tick every single mainstream DRP3 radio checkbox, but they do so on purpose, which allows the band to play them with an eerie sense of confidence and conviction that many other bands would be otherwise afraid or embarrassed to do in the rock scene. As a result, international chart success, recommendations from DR, TV appearances overseas, music videos on TV, and much more are things you can read about in the band's biography so far, even if big picture fame has evaded them as of yet.

Stylistically, the band utilize post-grunge as their platform, filtering it through a pop ideal much in the same vein as Lifehouse did on their key records. It translates into softly sung pop rock tracks with radio-friendly melodies and a balladic approach, though the band are known to write higher tempo and louder material as well. In fact, although the soft ballads are good, it's immediately clear Suits Boulevard are at their best on songs like "Blue Jeans" and the EP single "Only One" that has also been included on the album, where ambitiously expanding guitars support the grungy croons of vocalist Armin Kavousi in a great fashion. Here, the soundscape is almost majestic in its pop glory, without sounding overpolished or artificially inflated in any manner.

Rather surprisingly, that is also one of the key complaints about "Oblivious": the production is a little bit on the low-end scale of what it should be for such grandiose pop-rock songs as they are writing. It's almost as if the band are afraid to embrace their pop rock status fully. A song like "Like A Lion" feels almost restrained where it would grow into its full potential in a megalomaniac, Coldplay's "Mylo Xyloto"-inspired unleashed form. The second is that, at 16 tracks, "Oblivious" is unnecessarily long. Cutting it down to just ten pieces would've been a prudent choice; we would've been dealt with a great album of only solid tracks instead of one where we have one or two too many fillers. Either way, "Oblivious" proves that "Broken Wings" EP wasn't just a one-off - these guys really know how to write impressive pop/rock songs that should fly effortlessly on the radiowaves, not just in Denmark but internationally as well.

Download: Only One, Blue Jeans, Treehouse, Like A Lion, Chasing Butterflies, Ocean Of Lights
For the fans of: Lifehouse, Goo Goo Dolls, Vertical Horizon, Matchbox Twenty, 3 Doors Down
Listen: Facebook

Release date 29.01.2016
Self-Released

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