Album Review
Paradise Fears - Battle Scars Album Cover

Paradise Fears - Battle Scars

Reviewed by
Paradise Fears - Battle Scars
Release Date: June 25th, 2013
This review was written by an AP.net staff member.
As I stood in the back of New York City's Gramercy Theater on a snowy February night, I watched Paradise Fears give their all to a room that was half empty as people were still making their way into the venue … but the kids standing and listening to every note were captivated, and it was with good reason. Having never heard of the band before, I spent the length of their set trying to figure out their purpose – what was it that they wanted to accomplish? When this tour is all said and done, where do they go from here? I continued to watch frontman Sam Miller work the stage, and with each song it became clearer that he is a star in the making. His presence and ability to takeover a crowd got me looking forward to the band’s future, because although their pop-rock tunes kept my interest, it’s hardly enough these days.

But that night, I saw that Paradise Fears had the whole package, and since then, the band has gone on numerous tours and uploaded a ton of cover videos to YouTube. I wondered if all the extracurricular activities might hurt new music in the long run, because no matter how much attention is grabbed, it can all be lost if songs aren’t good enough. Simply put: Paradise Fears put all my fears to rest with their new EP, Battle Scars, and not only will it keep attention of fans and listeners, but it’ll make it damn near impossible to forget. Work on Battle Scars stems from the beginning of 2012 when Paradise Fears joined up with The Summer Set vocalist Brian Dales to work on new music. From that session comes the title track and first single, “Lullaby,” and they’re arguably some of the best songs Dales has ever been a part of. “Lullaby” boasts the biggest chorus in the Paradise Fears catalog, while “Battle Scars” is backed beautifully by an orchestra coupled with lyrics about never giving up.

The tracks that comprise Battle Scars (formerly Antebellumit’s kind of a long story) showcase a new side of Paradise Fears, one that delves into a deeper form of pop, leaning toward the likes of One Republic and The Script. It’s a style that fits them immensely, making the transition from typical pop-rock to a more refined, polished sound as fluid as ever. Of course, the hooks here are still alive and well, and are unlike anything Paradise Fears has touched before. “What Are You Waiting For?” and “Fought for Me” are amongst the catchiest tracks I’ve heard all year, while the former is a foot stomper with an addictive Imagine Dragons-esque vocal melody. The EP’s closing number, a reprise of “Battle Scars”, brings the record full circle with a guest spot from Dales as he ends the track with his signature croon.

Battle Scars may not have been Paradise Fears’ debut, but it’s the start of a brand new chapter for the South Dakota sextet, and one that will mostly certainly be remembered as their story goes on. Although they aren't making the same music as they were years ago, their drive and determination to come out on top has been there since I first saw that fire in them live, and now with Battle Scars, the rest of the world will see it too.

Displaying posts 1 - 6 of 6
11:00 AM on 06/25/13
Keagan Ilvonen
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10:57 PM on 06/25/13
The Starship Renegade
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Album is really good. I could see these guys getting really big soon.
06:27 AM on 06/26/13
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Usually not a fan of spoken word, but it works so well in this EP.
04:11 AM on 07/01/13
Go Sabres
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05:09 AM on 07/01/13
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