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One Night Band - Way Back Home Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 8.5
Musicianship 8.75
Lyrics 7.75
Production 8
Creativity 8.25
Lasting Value 8.25
Reviewer Tilt 8.75
Final Verdict: 83%
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One Night Band - Way Back Home

Reviewed by: Brandon Allin (08/01/06)
One Night Band - Way Back Home
Release Date: July 11th, 2006
Record Label: Stomp Records


It's an exceptional feat for any batch of musicians to put your name on the map in an industry that's jam-packed with freshman striving for an opportunity to break out. But, it's a finer accomplishment if said entertainers are able to write a success story on their very first attempt. This is a triumph that any performer should cherish. In the case of Montreal, Quebec's self-proclaimed One Night Band, victory on first endeavor appears miniscule amongst the ever-increasing list of achievements that these six musicians have the capability to obtain. With their debut, full-length release, Way Back Home, the One Night Band establish their placement amongst the crowd, all the while formulating an innovative, exciting, and stimulating equation containing the potential to leave listeners in awe. From the albums opening lines to the closing scene, these six musicians shine miraculously at every opportunity, and take advantage of their near hour in the spotlight.

But, what sets the One Night Band apart from the overabundance of artists and accumulations alike? After only a single listen of Way Back Home, the answer becomes clear, and the evidence is astonishing. The bands sound is blessed with a spark that listeners crave, and Way Back Home holds thirteen numbers that sound like instant classics. Yet, with all stereotypical applause aside, exaggeration is not the case in stating that there are clear-cut factors that will certainly stimulate any listeners interest. The first, easily-recognizable factor is the incorporation of two, mixed-gender lead vocalists, Alex Giguere and Jacinthe Michaud, whom both front the bands exceptionally talented rhythm section in an astounding manner with ease. Michaud is the first to shine, as she opens the album with "Crazy", a soul-inspired ballad pulsating with contagious attributes. Although the track doesn't prove to showcase anything groundbreaking in terms of musicianship, Michaud's voice is smooth, beautiful, and enticing, and such a performance is often hard to pass up. The group follows up the opener with the albums title track, "Way Back Home", a bouncy, soulful ska gem that serves up the sort of relaxed energy that any successful, traditional-based ska offering should be able to muster.

However, the spotlights aren't switched on and the albums real focal points aren't discovered until the later portion of the release. On "Right On", Giguere grasps his opportunity to shine as he runs through a series of French lyrics (which can be found in more than a single expression on Way Back Home) with pure passion, pride, and delight. However, on "Rolling The Dice", the records ninth number, the One Night Band break free from the relaxed, light-hearted consistency we've experienced thus far, as Giguere leads us through a classy, swinging arrangement that is sure to get listeners moving. The bands horn section, which consists of saxophonists Christiane Charbonneau and the aforementioned Michaud, are unusually well-founded and exceedingly talented, all the while delivering a bright, cheerful performance that coincides beautifully with the bands natural ambience. Yet, as exhilarating as the One Night Band's performance has proven to be thus far, the albums immediate, paramount classic is tenth effort on the document, "Rescue Me", a sharp, upbeat ska song that is worthy of utmost praise. Michaud's voice is simply stunning, and the track itself holds the ability to force the airwaves to explode with integrity. As a matter of fact, "Rescue Me" is an arrangement that any listener would categorize as refreshing, restorative, and simply boisterous, no matter what sort of background one might hold in terms of musical preference.

Yet, one question always stands. Is this release worth the cost of purchase? At this point in the review, one would declare that this critics answer is definite, but personal feelings towards art should not be limited. It appears there isn't a single flaw to be found within the release, and that alone is an unprecedented feat for any act. The production is absolutely angelic, the rhythms are absorbing, and the words pouring from the dual vocalists are anything but uninspiring. But, where excellence shines through, there's always equal room for improvement. There's truth in the statement that the One Night Band are playing off of a successful, tested formula, and at times their aims emerge as somewhat redundant. Although each track is bewitching in its own right, the sounds boasting from each piece often run together. But, thankfully for the French-Canadian sextet, none of these mishaps are enough to dissociate the record from its unique, captivating, and most importantly, first-class qualities.

In the end, and when it all boils down, the One Night Band's aim is on target and their hands are steady. Way Back Home is, without a doubt, one of the most remarkable, artistic, and stimulating releases Stomp Records has ever seen. It's a safe bet in predicting that these musicians will spend more than just One Night in the public eye, as these are six young performers who have earned the right to set their sights high. Way Back Home is a refreshing flashback to the earliest days of ska music, and the band willingly incorporates elements of roots, soul, and reggae into their already ravishing mixture. I hope the masses have been preparing for a takeover, because I assure you one is on its way.

For Fans OfWestbound Train, The Slackers, The English Beat, Prince Buster, and The Skatalites
ListenMySpace | pureVOLUME | Record Label
 
Displaying posts 1 - 13 of 13.
09:46 PM on 08/01/06
#2
Blake Solomon
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nice review. i said i would check this out, and due to your review im pretty pumped to hear some of their stuff.
10:14 PM on 08/01/06
#3
Brandon Allin
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Originally Posted by utman8
nice review. i said i would check this out, and due to your review im pretty pumped to hear some of their stuff.
Let me know what you think of it. It may or may not be up your alley, but it's worth a shot either way.

EDIT: Oh, and thanks for your kind words. :)
10:49 PM on 08/01/06
#4
Blake Solomon
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the first song on their purevolume is really good. the second was low quality, but i think a ska band with dual vocals is a great idea, i dont know about a score as high as you gave them, but then i havent heard the whole album.
11:27 PM on 08/01/06
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Brandon Allin
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Originally Posted by utman8
the first song on their purevolume is really good. the second was low quality, but i think a ska band with dual vocals is a great idea, i dont know about a score as high as you gave them, but then i havent heard the whole album.
In all honesty, the album has much, much stronger tracks than the ones on the internet.

EDIT: I just realized that only one of those two songs on their pureVOLUME page are on Way Back Home, and that would be the second of the two. But, the version on the album is very different and much higher quality. You'd be best off going to their MySpace page and taking a listen. They have two songs up there that are both on the record.
01:39 AM on 08/02/06
#6
Caleb Cattivera
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first off, nice review brandon...second off...i reallly like this. where can i order this? this is good veggin out and driving music.
01:45 AM on 08/02/06
#7
Brandon Allin
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Originally Posted by Caleb Cattivera
first off, nice review brandon...second off...i reallly like this. where can i order this? this is good veggin out and driving music.
Thanks, Caleb. I'm also really glad to hear you're diggin' this. :)

You can order the album at the Stomp Records website using the link below:

http://www.stomprecords.com/viewstor...srt=d atedesc
08:48 AM on 08/02/06
#8
Caleb Cattivera
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Originally Posted by Brandon Allin
Thanks, Caleb. I'm also really glad to hear you're diggin' this. :)

You can order the album at the Stomp Records website using the link below:

http://www.stomprecords.com/viewstore.php?region=2&bnd=49&srt=d atedesc

thanks dude, they remind of sublime a little bit, i think that's why i enjoy them so much.
11:34 AM on 08/02/06
#9
Brandon Allin
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Originally Posted by thecitylights
Just out of curiosity, Brandon, have you ever: a) reviewed an album that was not ska-punk, or b) given a ska-punk album a bad score? I'll be honest, I'm not at all into ska-punk stuff, I find it fairly monotonous, and because of that, I tend to avoid your reviews, because I've never seen you review anything else. And honestly, it seems you give every single ska-punk album by every single ska-punk band at least an 8 out of 10. Your review looks good, but I know I'll hate the music so I don't check it out. Anyhow, what's the story with that???
First off, thanks for your interest. I've been asked questions similar to these before, but I'm more than willing to explain myself again. I'll answer one question and then the other. Here goes nothing:

a) I believe I have reviewed only one or two albums for Absolute Punk that are not somehow loosely related to ska music. I only wrote the reviews for those albums, as those were releases that were extremely important to me personally, and ones that had a huge impact on me a listener. The reason I try to bind myself to ska-based album reviews is simple. I was hired by AP to do just that. It's my duty to keep the world up to date on noteworthy ska releases to the best of my ability. Secondly, I feel it should be made clear that ska music (in all its forms, whether it be traditional, third-wave, or contain influences of roots, soul, rocksteady, reggae, punk rock, etc.) is all I listen to and find myself interested. So, would it really make sense for me to judge albums in other territory? I personally don't feel I should be the one to critique music outside of ska, so I stay out of it. Ska music is all I know and love, so I let the other reviews cover everything else, and they do it wonderfully.

b) As for the scores I give the albums I review, I can easily explain that as well. Firstly, with so many albums out there, and so many bands making names for themselves, it's hard to keep on top of everything that comes and goes. As a matter of fact, it's downright impossible. So, when it comes to choosing which albums to review, I often tend to lean towards albums I personally enjoy, and ones I would have valid, well-constructed thoughts on. But, you're now probably asking yourself why I feel the need to give every album I choose and enjoy an 8 or higher. While this is the case a good majority of the time, I have ranked several albums in the 70% range or lower (a few albums have fell around the 50% range). I'm the type of listener who can usually find something to love in everything, and I'm most certainly one to see records through open-minded, optomistic eyes. So, why hurt a band with a lower score just to earn myself a little credibility as a reviewer when I whole-heartedly believe they deserve at least the scores I give them? But, yeah, with most of the releases I review being personal favourites of mine, of course I'm going to give them high scores. In the end, I just support bands I love.

Well, there you have it. I hope that explains everything. Thanks again for your questions, and please, do yourself a favour and give a quick listen to some of the bands I cover. I'm not sure how knowledgeable you are when it comes to ska music, but it truly does appear in every form imaginable, so I'm sure there's something you can enjoy. :)
11:35 AM on 08/02/06
Brandon Allin
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Originally Posted by Caleb Cattivera
thanks dude, they remind of sublime a little bit, i think that's why i enjoy them so much.
That's awesome. Thanks, Caleb! :)
11:50 AM on 08/02/06
Brandon Allin
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Originally Posted by thecitylights
Cool. That prettymuch explains everything. I'd like to think I have a variety in tastes of music. Ska is just something I've never been into, but I'll admit that I'm not very knowledgeable about it, and haven't given it a real big listen, so maybe I should try it out.

As for sticking to your genre, I agree with that. I guess I just hadn't noticed that the other guys had any particular genre, so I wondered why you seemed to stick with the ska-punk stuff. I'm not really sure how you get into writing online reviews and stuff, especially for money, but its sounds like you're pretty good at it. Props to you for pimping your tastes, and keep up the good work!
Thanks alot, dude. It's really amazing to hear that people enjoy your writing, even if they aren't fond of the music it's based upon.

About your tastes, that's really cool. An open mind means everything when it comes to music, and an eclectic span is wonderful. I listen to bands today making music I never would've dreamed of being interested in five years ago. I don't mean ska music, as a whole, just specific forms of it that I've grown to love.

As for what our reviewers are hired to cover, speaking in a completely non-conceited manner, I am sort of a special case. The rest of our reviewers have their tastes, but they really try to cover all sorts of music to the best of their ability, which would explain why you were unfamiliar with my position specifications. I was hired simply to cover what I know, and that's what I've been doing.

I've said it once, and I'll say it again. Becoming an album reviewer is almost identical to the process in gaining any position. You simply submit an application, and if the "management" find that you're a talented writer, there's a good chance they will take you aboard. But, in the case of this website, Jason looks for staff members who will bring something new to the table, and when I was hired their was a lack of ska music (the biggest names were here, but that's it) being covered, and that would explain why I was hired. I wanted the position more than anything, and I was able to prove to Jason and his secretary at the time that there was a demand for what I was willing to bring.

But, yeah, I apologize for rambling. I have alot to say on certain subjects, as you can see. Haha. :) Thanks again for the kind words.
12:38 PM on 08/02/06
Caleb Cattivera
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Originally Posted by thecitylights
Cool. That prettymuch explains everything. I'd like to think I have a variety in tastes of music. Ska is just something I've never been into, but I'll admit that I'm not very knowledgeable about it, and haven't given it a real big listen, so maybe I should try it out.

As for sticking to your genre, I agree with that. I guess I just hadn't noticed that the other guys had any particular genre, so I wondered why you seemed to stick with the ska-punk stuff. I'm not really sure how you get into writing online reviews and stuff, especially for money, but its sounds like you're pretty good at it. Props to you for pimping your tastes, and keep up the good work!

thanks for being an open minded user. its users like you that make us enjoy our job.
12:45 PM on 08/02/06
Brandon Allin
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Originally Posted by Caleb Cattivera
thanks for being an open minded user. its users like you that make us enjoy our job.
Precisely.
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