Album Review
Suburban Legends - Dance Like Nobody's... Album Cover

Suburban Legends - Dance Like Nobody's...

Reviewed by
Suburban Legends - Dance Like Nobody's Watching
Release Date: May 12th, 2006
Record Label: Unsigned

There comes a point in each music listener's intimate cycle where one may question the duration of an artist's career, and while very rarely do we manage to acquire an answer in order to satisfy our suspicions, one can't help but feel a stroke of astonishment at those very artist's rightful longevity. Now, while the hardships (ranging from the loss of a cherished band member, to an ever-changing cast of performers), trials, tribulations, and barriers Orange, California's Suburban Legends have faced aren't exactly what one would define as secretive, we can't help but speculate exactly what substances the choreographed septet have been using to fuel their advancement? While one may not ever be sure, we're obligated to assume that a prized bundle of dedication, pride, and passion, paired with an able-bodied love for music, are certainly requirements for the progression of a tumultuous career.

But, with constant conversions, and an everlasting season of metamorphosis, what expectations shall one hold for the remainder of the Suburban Legends' career? While truthfully the final traces of the group's initial form have been extinguished, consider me dumbfounded by the act's dynamic return to form. Fortunately, despite the continual alterations the respectful pop-ska outfit have encountered, their contemporary output is a considerable ways beyond what any listener may or may not have expected from the band's long-awaited, highly-anticipated re-establishment, 2006's Dance Like Nobody's Watching. The group's most prominent change comes in the form of newly-instated lead vocalist Vincent Walker. While many were moderately apprehensive as to how sufficiently the band's senior trumpeter would fill the now barren shoes of the group's ex-lead vocalist, Timothy Maurer, Walker's exhibition is nearly as compelling as that of Maurers, who received his fair share of critical acclaim during his own course of control. Still, while we can rest assured that act's current, adequate forerunner will capitalize on center-stage attention, how does the remainder of the act's highly-adjusted crew match up?

While I must admit that Dance Like Nobody's Watching isn't precisely what I demanded myself to anticipate, the septet has arranged a rather delightful accumulation of worthwhile material. On "Come Back Home", the release's lead offering, Walker escorts the highly-motivated, lively crowd through a pop-infused, funk-inspired, rock-based anthem, on which listeners are offered their first taste of the act's fresh face. While the group has more or less removed the "ska" tag from their baggage, which may or may not have alienated a significant portion of their devoted fanbase, it isn't what I'd call an easy challenge to disregard the group's newfangled behaviour. The unrivalled spirit, flair, and undeniably memorable craftsmanship has returned for an additional round, and while it is burdensome for an aged fan to summarize one's thoughts, the melodies are contagious enough to remove one's mind from such petty anxiety. On "This Cherry", the EP's second effort, audiences receive an accomplished sample of the band's fervent horn ensemble, which consists of trumpeter Luiz Beza, trombonist Brian Robertson, and newly-acquired trombonist Phillip Inzerillo. To be quite honest, the brass troupe is easily one of the act's most alluring characteristics, and while their presence appears to have less emphasis placed upon it in comparison to previous efforts, their aptitude is unquestionably captivating. On "Hey DJ", the closing piece of the album's first half, the Suburban Legends lean in a disco-inspired, pop-oriented direction, and while this cutting edge approach is immediately difficult to adjust to, the overall tone is rather fitting.

The EP's second half discloses itself with "Mean Girl", a slower-paced, relationship-woven ballad, and while the remainder of the post-intermission material leaves little to be deserised, the radio-friendly carol is undoubtedly the release's weak point. Logically speaking, while it isn't necessarily a tasteless effort, it proves to sit rather uncomfortably amidst the group's initiative recipe. On "Golden Touch", the album's second to last offering, fans endure a beaming arrangement from the band's aforementioned brass section, which complements an outstanding, swaying pop-rock foundation, courtesy of accomplished guitarist Brian Klemm, bassist Mike Hachey, and percussionist Derek Lee Rock. Finally, the disc buttons itself up with a beautiful, piano-pop take on "Bright Spring Morning", a happy-go-lucky composition found on the group's 2003 full-length release, Rump Shaker. However, most notably, the track, which comes complete with an almighty string arrangement and dynamic drum work, boasts Walker's potent vocals, and while in all honesty I find the song's original form to be far more enjoyable, an alternate option is a fabulous gift for any anxious devotee.

But, when the curtains close, a critic must place all bias aside, despite any (in this case, many) catastrophes the performers in question may have unfortunately encountered. So, where does the Suburban Legends' fresh confinguration fall in terms of overall enjoyment? To be accurate, the act's modernistic recipe is one that's bound for success, and while the media has failed to take considerable notice thus far, it's only a matter of time before these gentlemen find themselves comfortably seated at the top of the charts. Dance Like Nobody's Watching is an uplifting, memorable take on pop-based music, and while these six efforts certainly aren't anything we haven't seen a thousand times before, I can't help but show crystal-clear signs of support for the California septet.

For Fans OfReel Big Fish, Oingo Boingo, Zebrahead, Maroon 5, and Allister
Listen to Suburban LegendsAP.net Profile | Official Website | MySpace | pureVOLUME
This review is a user submitted review from Brandon Allin. You can see all of Brandon Allin's submitted reviews here.
Displaying posts 1 - 8 of 8
05:04 PM on 11/01/06
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these guys rock like there's no tomorrow..and I owe it all to you for showing 'em to me, brotha! thanks, and good review again :):)
11:15 PM on 11/01/06
All that wander are not lost
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irthesteve's Avatar
i love this ep, ska/dance really sounds good to me
12:24 AM on 11/02/06
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HeadSock's Avatar
I think the scores are a little low, but nice review nonetheless. Hopefully an LP will be out in the near future.
02:00 AM on 11/02/06
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tragedyco's Avatar
this is a great record (or ep)... i honestly love it.
01:16 PM on 11/02/06
Guten Taaaag!
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capnshindig's Avatar
I have a feeling that the piano rendition of "Bright Spring Morning" was directed towards the death of Dallas. That song brings me to tears on this EP.
08:04 PM on 11/02/06
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Jaynicgurl's Avatar
These boys are some of my favorite people in the world. Great EP... and to mention to heart warming dedication to Ryan Dallas Cook in the CD's booklet.

Love the EP <3
01:00 AM on 06/11/10
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A very well written blog.. It's funny that it talks about music but the way the writer wrote the article was so impressive.. I should say that i congratulate him for doing that and I know that who ever he was he really loves music.. I enjoyed reading the articl because what he said was true, we will never know when or where artist 's future will end.

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