Van Atta High - Doin' Somethin' Right EP
Record Label: Thriving Records
Release Date: March 10, 2009
Who are Van Atta High? Those who thought they knew about a year ago might not know anymore. After a serious member change (in which 4 of the 5 members left the group), Van Atta High is now made up of Steve Kellner - vocals/only remaining member/coolest musician ever, Stephen Jasko - guitar/back-up vocals, Justin Maikisch - guitar, Clark Starace - bass/2nd coolest musician ever and Glenn Petnel - drums. Van Atta High have sadly changed from a "kick ass screamo band to watch in 08'" to a stereotypical pop-punk band to sing along with in 09'. I'm not sure whether this is because of the change of band members or not, but this new Van Atta High seems rather generic.
However, not everything about Doin' Somethin' Right (Van Atta High's 3rd effort) is bad. This 9 track EP does have its high points. The album starts off with "Doin' Somethin' Right", a crossover between old and new VAH. It shows moments of promise, allowing for me to believe that they can still churn out some good screams and nice riffs. The next track is "Birthday Girl", a generic, well-produced and catchy song that I can easily see as VAH's next single. This song would be easily forgettable if not for Kellner's exceptional vocals to keep it afloat. Next is "Shakin' In My Shoes", my personal favorite and a song that highlights the good in VAH's new style.
"Afternoon Delight", (originally by Starland Vocal Band) comes in a close 2nd. VAH have seriously revamped this 1976 classic and kept it out of my "Guilty Pleasures" playlist and placed it into my "Regular Rotation". The last song worth mentioning is "Throw Away Heart", an acoustic version of an identically titled song from their previous album Run Like Hell. I find it to be better than the original.
Ultimately, Van Atta High's 3rd release is somewhat of a disappointment. While it does have its shining moments, they have drifted too far away from what got them praise in the screamo scene. They have also reused some material in "Call Me Jersey" and the acoustic version of "Call Me Jersey". The 08' VAH wasn't noticed, and with a generic, mainstream EP in Doin' Somethin' Right they now have the capability to become famous. Unfortunately the wrong album will be recognized. While they aren't producing songs like "Mainline To Flatline" and "Just Lie" anymore, Van Atta High is still good enough to get more of my attention.
Track List Doin' Somethin' Right (B-)
Birthday Girl (B)
Shakin' In My Shoes (B+)
Call Me Jersey (B+)
Afternoon Delight (B)
Just Lie (Acoustic) (C+)
Call Me Jersey Acoustic (C)
Throw Away Heart (B)
Have to completely disagree with you on this. True, this Van Atta High may be dime a dozen but, they at least sound good. That whole screamo thing was a step in the wrong direcrtion. It was just all over the place and frankly, the best song on Run Like Hell was "Call Me Jersey", a song that featured no screams whatsoever.
Steve is the coolest musician ever, and his side project is FAR better than van atta high. However, i think van atta high is doing what they can to get in the spotlight, then change back to the roots, or maybe the other members all just have man crushes on All Time Low, and van atta high is having an identity crisis trying to find themselves, true to their high-school band name nature.