Feels Like July - In the Company of Wolves
Record Label: Topshelf Records
Release Date: August 5, 2008
"There is a lie/ you don't see it/ who would have thought/ you'd believe it?" These chanted lines start off In The Company Of Wolves. The line is repeated multiple times, starting off a capella, the instrumentation begins to slowly build and then climaxes into the beginning of the second track, "Fireworks, Massachusetts." In the first five minutes of this album, Feels Like July somehow tell you everything you need to know about this album, even though you won't know what exactly it's pointing out until you're farther in. The first thing it introduces is Dan Bristol's vocal leads, which dominate the album. It then slowly introduces the dynamic and impressive instrumentation that, second to the vocals, are another important factor of the album, and finally, the last thing it introduces is the astounding cohesion and flow that's present throughout the whole thing.
The vocal leads are obviously in the forefront of the compositions, and they take control for the majority of the album. Bristol's delivery and emotion-filled cries are what make many of tracks from the album what they are. However, even in the places where the vocals relinquish their control, the instrumentation kicks in and the album retains its composure. The songs flow marvelously from one to the next, and in many places the transitions go completely unnoticed unless you're paying very close attention. Whether it's on of the low-key pseudo-ballads or one of the in-your-face rockers, the tracks find a way to fit together perfectly. With this aspect in play, the album flows more as one solid track than many different ones. However, at the same time, they've made it to where each track can be played on its own without a hitch. The transitions between songs, while seamless, are placed correctly to break the songs into listenable segments on their own. Even with this great cohesion, some songs find a way to stand out on their own. One great example of this is "I Am The Island" -- its chorus is powerful and catchy enough to embed it in your memory and set it apart from the rest of the album. Another is ""I Love It On The Railroad," which has an outstanding opening verse that demands attention. In some places though, the flow of the album is also its downfall. While some of these tracks may stand out, a few of them also become completely hidden and forgotten. In the long run, it's best to just listen to the album as a whole compared to picking out single songs to listen to, since the album plays itself like one powerful and unforgettable track.
Feels Like July has done something right with their debut album, In The Company Of Wolves. From the beginning lines it's full to the brim with emotion and intelligent songwriting. They've created one of the few albums I've seen that can flow flawlessly from track to track without losing steam, even if some tracks begin to get buried in the length of the album. If you're a fan of anything from pop-punk to post-hardcore I suggest you stop punishing yourself and pick up this album as soon as possible.