June 17, 2014
So, I wanted to take a minute and write about one of my new favorite things that are up and coming. I'm more than certain that this band doesn't need my signal boost, but I'm a little too excited about it to not try and write something about it.
If you're a fan of The Wonder Years, you should already know about this, but in case you don't, here is the next project from the lead vocalist, or Dan "Soupy" Campbell. It's called Aaron West and The Roaring Twenties; this band is right out of the gate a style completely different of The Wonder Years with a very distinct and flavorful sound. We'll get into what they sound like (assuming you're not already playing them as you read this) but I want to explain that Aaron West is a character that Dan is exploring. Now this character is completely fictional, but the emotions conveyed through the album are all too real. The gripping tale of the worst year in Aaron West's life is the theme of We Don't Have Each Other, and although only two tracks have been released as of right now (feel free to pre-order the album here) the currently available tracks definitely tug at the heartstrings. Personally these songs are instant favorites and I'm excited to hear the rest of the album to see what other tragic events are in store for Aaron. It's not that I enjoy listening to horrible things happening to people, however you should already have an idea that most of this music isn't going to be upbeat. If there is anything that I have learned about people over the past years of going to shows; it's that most people who attended these kinds of shows have had something horrible happen to them and we're all there together. We're there because we relate to the music and are inspired, driven by what we hear. There is a definite connection being established between the artist and the audience through similarly shared experience. Now this isn't to say that I've gone through divorce but that isn't to say that I can't relate and/or sympathize with the sadness of the protagonist.
Now let's go on to how Aaron West and The Roaring Twenties sound (so far). If I were to crudely compare them to another band just to get a palette established I would have to say The Early November. The similarities stem from the use of wind instruments and the very mellow, you could argue "depressed" mood of the music. The acoustic and electric pairing is very well executed in this album and the results are astounding. Beginning with the songs, You Ain't No Saint kicks off which some slow acoustic strums of the acoustic guitar guiding us through the first verse that gradually builds through the hook to an entire band orchestrating together through the chorus. Absolutely fantastic. The pace of the song is really well thought out and the relief and complexity of the wind instruments is very well received. The vocals is where you will be the hardest part to break from The Wonder Years, it's definitely Dan as we come to love, and he sounds very similar to his work on The Greatest Generation, however the themes and stories are where the similarities diverge. To elaborate on this point we'll take a look at Divorce and the American South which is metaphorically told through voicemails focuses on the regret, longing and loneliness of our beloved Aaron West. A heart filled song about his failure to establish contact with his ex-wife, the elaboration of changes he's made in his life, and introspective revelations he has made about himself.
The quality of every song that I've had the pleasure of hearing at this point is outstanding, you can really tell there is dedication and polish on every aspect of project. I look forward to hearing more when the full album becomes available July 8, 2014.