The Forecast - The Forecast
Record Label: Eyeball Records
Release Date: February 16, 2010
My best friend Matt and I have this thing that we say sometimes. When we're talking about a new band or album that we like, we'll just say that the band or album have it. I don't think we even really know what it is. In my mind, I consider it an edge or something. Some bands have it and others don't, just the little spark that sets them apart from others. The bands that have it are the ones that I listen to every week, the ones that I call my favorites. The albums that have it are the ones that remain in the filter of my brain when it lets all the other music seep through. Those albums are the ones that I go back to weeks, months, years after they come out. These days I get so much new music thrown at me from every direction that the albums that I go back and listen to extensively really have something that sticks out to me. After spending only a couple of short, textbook-infested months with The Forecast's third, self-titled release, I'm positive that this is one album that has it, that won't be seeping through my brain's filter any time soon.
In March, I turned on this album every time I had reading to do for my psychology class. I don't know why, but The Forecast's brand of Midwestern indie rock does as much to relax my mind as it does to get me up and out of my chair. There's really no spot on this album to stop and catch your breath, as the quartet of Dustin Addis, Shannon Burns, Matt Webb, and Tony Peck bring it at full force for close to 40 minutes. After the acoustic, folky introduction of "Losers", first single "Illinois" hits listeners with a soaring chorus and a good insight into what the musicianship sounds like on this record. The Forecast know their strengths, evident on this album with the perfectly executed pairing of electric and acoustic guitars and rock-solid drumming from Peck. While this is definitely the grandest and catchiest song on the record, it's tossed into a cage match with songs like "Kisses", "If I'm Not Mistaken", and "A Better Man" for which is best. Each of these tracks show off a different aspect of the band's complete sound.
The triple-hops brewed vocals of Addis, Burns, and Webb shine brightest on "If I'm Not Mistaken" and "A Better Man", although their unique sound together is enough to make every song memorable. Burns kicks the band into another entire gear with her high-pitched vocals, serving as a wonderful complement to the other two rugged voices. The coordination of the three vocalists is impressive throughout the record, making for no boring or filler songs on The Forecast. On "Kisses", we hear another grandiose rock and roll chorus, this one featuring Geoff Rickley of Thursday, that will stick with you for days. The album closes with "Double On the Rocks", a powerful three-minute punch that features Burns dominating the bridge.
The Forecast have under their belt a thoroughly solid record. They'll be the first to let you know they aren't reinventing the genre or pushing any boundaries, but at the same time it's not like they're playing it safe with this record. They're doing what they want to do and they're doing it extremely well. While this album may be a little more rock and roll than your typical indie rock record, that's what proves to be the it on this album. In a year crowded with quality releases, The Forecast have certainly stood their ground.
This is the album that you put in your car to listen to during this summer. There's no other feeling that matches playing "Illinois" "I'll Set You Free" or "A Better Man" while driving with the windows rolled down.
If anyone knows who produced this, please let me know.
How can you write a "review" and not know this?
The Forecast | BIOGRAPHY
“…Along with some stupendous pop hooks, it brings in the kind of robust rock riffs and tender, Americana-tinged fare that elicit comparisons to Rilo Kiley and early Wilco.” - Pop Matters
‘The Forecast sing about love, loss, regret and redemption. Highways and whisky make their way into bittersweet, dreamy songs about losing what you want most, giving up and gaining hope. The high lonesome soprano of bassist Shannon Burns soars over the vocals of guitarists Dustin Addis and Matt Webb on songs that swing on a pendulum between the sweet harmonies and meandering guitars of Laurel Canyon and the breakneck intensity of indie rock and punk. With the fervor of a young X, The Forecast kick down the doors of expectation, wearing their Midwestern roots wrapped tightly around them.
On their third, self-titled album, The Forecast has moved from writing songs about family, place and the road to creating a 12-track love story that sends grinding regrets soaring endlessly, with self-laceration and an overwhelming desire for redemption seared into every lyric. “I wrote about how bad it feels to know you’ve lost something when you never should have given it up, asking for forgiveness when you know you probably don’t deserve it, but you know you’ve lost something you can’t replace,” explained Addis. “We culled these songs from a collection of about 35, they make the best story and after writing for two years, I couldn’t be happier with the record.”
“Kisses” has the soaring big sky sound the band has trademarked, embellished with a resonant percussion as The Forecast and guest vocalist Geoff Rickley of Thursday raise their voices to sing “I’m stealing your kisses back from you, for all the shit you put me through.” “Snake Charmer” brings pedal steel and piano to a heartbreaking tune about saying goodbye that uses gorgeous instrumentation and the haunting vocals of Shannon Burns to illustrate the resulting hollowness inside. The album is imbued with lovely playing and the kind of warm production that lulls the listener, contrasting with the jagged-edged songs in a way that illuminates both.
Hailing from the once quiet town of Peoria, Illinois, The Forecast exploded onto the indie rock circuit in 2001. With their must-see live performances alongside bands like Hey Mercedes, The Jealous Sound, and Motion City Soundtrack, they earned a fiercely loyal following in the Midwest. Taking cues from indie staples such as Rainer Maria, Braid, and The Anniversary, The Forecast gave the genre a well-deserved kick in the ass, ratcheting up the intensity and throwing down balls to the wall, in-your-face rock and roll.
After signing to Victory Records, The Forecast released Late Night Conversations, produced by A.J. Mogis. The album received critical acclaim from magazines and newspapers across North America and The Forecast toured with bands like Bayside, Action Action and Planes Mistaken For Stars. In The Shadow of Two Gunmen was produced by John Naclerio, who is known for his work with bands like Brand New and Matchbook Romance. Addis recalled, “John was super open to all the ideas we had coming into the studio and to helping us make them happen. He was also extremely helpful working with Shannon and I on our vocals. He just made everything really comfortable.” Naclerio is back at the boards for The Forecast, with Addis calling him “the 5th member of our band.”
The Forecast have synthesized twang, rock and roll and bittersweet lyrical themes into their own signature sound. With all the heartache and sweetly sad odes to longing and loss, make no mistake about it – this is a band with power and intensity to spare.
I still listen to this album daily. It's easily one of the best records released so far this year.
That being said, I don't think this was a good review. At all. While it does praise the album, and surely doesn't put it down, I think some of the descriptions are inaccurate, others are vague, and some just don't make any sense at all.
Regardless, I'd recommend everyone check this album out. If you enjoy it, dig deeper into their discography. This band is the definition of underrated.