Scene in Stereo - Maps
Record Label: None
Release Date: April 20, 2008
Scene in Stereo compare their music to Cartel and The All-American Rejects on their AbsolutePunk.net profile, which is pretty accurate. The band’s latest release Maps is a deluge of rock anthems with the temperament and energy levels of the spring break crowd. The band’s productions have meaty layers erecting heaps of amplified sound waves that rev-up the power rock harmonies and combustible guitar chords. At times, the tracks are overly produced which result in flooding out lead vocalist Jeff Dart as his guitar parts pile on top of each other, but the band offsets their power rock whorls and wheelies with a dose of acoustic rock musings in “Remember Me,” which injects the album with a comfy country-rock vibe. The underbelly of keyboard pectorals made by Matt Greco supplement the melodic torches that burn through “Stay,” while the rhythm section of Joseph Intile and drummer Ben Klenz implement a soft-rock strut that pillars Dart’s vocals snugly.
Produced by Kevin Hahn (Stu’s Shoes’ EP Bright Stars and Battle Scars), the album is loaded with blustery chord movements and spreads of rollicking ridges synonymous with The Almost on tracks like “Now or Never” and “Turn Around.” The band maintains an uplifting vibe stocking the portly sized entanglements and making for juicy melodic passages and whipping rotations that work up to the rigorous speed of Anberlin. The band offers pop punk rinses through “Dispatch” with a sunny-pop feel that correlates to Cartel. The band moves into mid-tempo gallops through “All I Am” and “Walls,” honing a modern rock reverberation, while the crinkling synth textured chords of “We’re Alive” act as a springboard for the big amplified vocals in the chorus parts that lift the listener straight up to his/her feet. The band hits their stride on this track making them a fierce contender in the rock arena.
The song lyrics melt into the music like a solvent in “We‘re Alive” as Dart muses, “Every night I wonder why we walk alone if I was the only one for you / I never thought I’d find anything better / All I wanted was nothing to change in me / Maybe I’m lost / Maybe I’m stranded / Maybe my heart’s abandoned / Maybe I’m looking for something more that I cannot define / These are days that we’re alive / Don’t wait for the time to pass us by.” The band never misses a step to sound loud and voluminous, but they do lessen their amplification on “Stay” and “Remember Me” which shows the genteel side of Scene in Stereo. Dart’s vocals actually move well with the keyboards like they were tailored to match each other, while the upbeat acoustic guitar strokes of “Remember Me” highlight his vocals nicely and Dart's sister's vocals who harmonize softly with his. The melody builds up to a hearty jocular momentum but not to the volume of the previous tracks, which gives “Remember Me” an un-camouflaged look.
Scene in Stereo’s latest album Maps displays the band as a work in progress. Their music shows a lot of motivation and volume, but they still have not reached their peak performance, although they have reached the level of The Almost and Anberlin. Scene in Stereo are branched off from Portland, Oregon’s rock band Stu’s Shoes, and in their present incarnation, they are looking to settle in for the long haul.