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Album Review
Looking For Alaska - Sing Your Heart Out EP Album Cover

Looking For Alaska - Sing Your Heart Out EP

Reviewed by
7.0
Looking For AlaskaSing Your Heart Out EP
Record Label: None
Release Date: September 29, 2012
This review was written by an AP.net staff member.
You may remember Looking For Alaska’s debut record, There Is Hope, from last October. The record introduced us to a band that enjoyed a healthy mix of folk and progressive rock influences. The record was laden with jittery guitars, delicate vocals, and religious lyrics.

Well, scrap that.

Their latest EP, Sing Your Heart Out might as well be under a different band name. The next version of say Anberlin, Ivoryline, or PMtoday is now replaced with a version of The American Scene, Daytrader, or Seahaven. The prog rock is gone, making way for the more simplified pop-rock route.

The reason behind these changes comes due to a change of vocalists – guitarist Calvin Lauber has taken over the role of front man for Looking For Alaska. Sure enough, within one song, you become aware that the change is a welcomed one. “Gainesville” is a slow burning opening to Sing Your Heart Out, beginning with lush guitar play and almost muffled vocals. As the guitars escalate, buoyed by Chris Chamoun rhythmic drumming, the song quickly picks up as Lauber finally shows off his pipes amid the buildup.

The influence of There Is Hope is not completely diminished, however, as the opening licks of “Waves” reflect the instrumentation throughout that record. The luminous guitar work becomes the backbone of the track, guiding and empowering Lauber’s powerful vocal delivery. Again on “Holden Caulfield” (yeah, yeah, we know it’s a Salinger reference), gritty guitars pulsate throughout the track, punching in and out within Lauber’s strongest vocal performance on the EP as he wails, “I swear to god that I loved you,” at the top of his lungs.

Clearly, Sing Your Heart Out holds true to its namesake, and luckily, Lauber has a mean set of pipes – and clearly the skillful nature of the other musicians doesn’t hurt one bit. However, the one mis-step here is the production. While You Blew It!’s Grow Up, Dude proved earlier this year that raw production and unpolished sound quality can be a huge benefit due to creating a more old-fashioned tone, the idea doesn’t hold its ground so well here. At times – especially throughout the opening minutes of “Gainesville” – Lauber sounds muffled and distant, immensely hindering the atmosphere of the EP.

Still, once you get used to the raw, unfiltered production and sound here, Sing Your Heart Out is a solid EP out of left field. This is nothing like what I expected Looking For Alaska to release, but it’s a direction that suits them fine (and probably even better than their initial prog rock sound). With this EP, Looking For Alaska start from scratch and move to a territory that will allow them to grow and expand their newfound sound.

7/10
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 17
09:49 PM on 10/03/12
#2
cut!print
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Dude, that RIYL is amazing. I really dig all those bands. Especially A Common Year! I'll have to check this out.
10:52 PM on 10/03/12
#3
TheSkyline
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Thanks for this Ryan, hope everyone else digs it as well!
11:54 PM on 10/03/12
#4
awakeohsleeper
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I'd prefer the next Anberlin to the other bands mentioned.

I'll probably check this out though because There Is Hope was worth listening to!
10:23 AM on 10/04/12
#5
therookielot
the shape of punk just came
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Did they ever find Alaska?
10:28 AM on 10/04/12
#6
Helen Keller.
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I'm going to love this band just for the reference to one of my favorite books: Looking For Alaska by John Green. Catcher is a classic too, but Looking For Alaska is one hell of a novel. Also, good review. Haven't heard it yet but this is super well-written.
10:30 AM on 10/04/12
#7
TheSkyline
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I'm going to love this band just for the reference to one of my favorite books: Looking For Alaska by John Green. Catcher is a classic too, but Looking For Alaska is one hell of a novel. Also, good review. Haven't heard it yet but this is super well-written.

Haha, agreed! You can listen to the EP here- www.lookingforalaska.bandcamp.com
11:26 AM on 10/04/12
#8
esperotic
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So Im listening to their 4 track ep on spotify, and the first song Gainsville came on and I thoroughly enjoyed it, but then waves came on, and not to be mean, but was that the same singer? it sounded terrible
11:59 AM on 10/04/12
#9
esperotic
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Sorry didnt mean to sound so rude on the last post, and yes im chastising myself on here. I thoroughly enjoy the 3 out of the 4 songs on this ep, just still cant quite get comfy with the vocals on the waves track. But i love everything else about the sound and direction of this.. sorry again about my above comment
12:10 PM on 10/04/12
TheSkyline
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Sorry didnt mean to sound so rude on the last post, and yes im chastising myself on here. I thoroughly enjoy the 3 out of the 4 songs on this ep, just still cant quite get comfy with the vocals on the waves track. But i love everything else about the sound and direction of this.. sorry again about my above comment
Haha I understand. In short I was kind of sick when we tracked vocals and waves was the last song we did, it definitely shows. I don't think you're being rude at all, I wish I had sang that one better for sure.
02:56 PM on 10/04/12
esperotic
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Haha I understand. In short I was kind of sick when we tracked vocals and waves was the last song we did, it definitely shows. I don't think you're being rude at all, I wish I had sang that one better for sure.


Ahh, that makes perfect sense. You all are doing an amazing job. Thanks for being cool on your reply.
08:07 PM on 10/04/12
TheSkyline
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Ahh, that makes perfect sense. You all are doing an amazing job. Thanks for being cool on your reply.

Haha thanks, glad you like most of the EP. Thanks for listening!
08:48 PM on 10/04/12
Rustash
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The vocalists changed? What happened to the old one?
09:53 AM on 10/05/12
TheSkyline
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The vocalists changed? What happened to the old one?

Personal differences, he wanted to stay in school, we wanted to tour more, etc.
06:13 PM on 10/05/12
Rustash
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Personal differences, he wanted to stay in school, we wanted to tour more, etc.
Ah, I see. I'll need to check out the EP ASAP. I liked you guys because of the name, then I heard your music and liked you even more.

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