The Fair Weathered – Last Year
Record Label: Unsigned
Release Date: January 25, 2011
At first listen, this trio from Columbus, Ohio definitely knows what they’re doing when writing a pop punk-rock album for the masses. They get the sound just right in this album providing a satisfying release from other music groups that I listen to and getting back to the basics of rock music, having fun. This band shows that they are having fun while writing this song as the fast paced nature of the album is a very good freshman album that will mark the success of this Midwestern band.
Starting off the line the song “Time” starts off the album with the punk sounding music of this band. They don’t start out slow as the guitarists are already playing their fast-paced music in this song that I can actually call one of my favorites on the record. Next in line on the album is the song “Wake Up Dead”, which follows Time as a fast-paced song. In my opinion, this song is a very catchy song that reminds me of small town ideas in a big city. Following “Wake Up Dead” is “Westland Avenue” which shows that this band can slow down when they can, kind of like a car slowing down for a red light. It’s a song I would play during a drive down the shore.
“Heavy States”, which was also featured on their EP, Pendlwood Sessions. The introduction of the song reminds me of an Armor For Sleep song “Smile For The Camera”. This song is beautifully made, with the phrase “This drug gives me high, but you keep me alive” winding up getting stuck in my head throughout the song. It was a song that I would really love, and another favorite off their album.
“Can You Imagine” which has a guitar introduction that reminded me of yet another song, “Mouths Like Sidewinder Missiles” by The Fall of Troy, follows “Heavy States” in this album, providing the punk-rock feeling again, picking it up from “Westland Avenue”. The only complaint I had during this song, which wasn’t much of a complaint, is the fact that it seems like to me that the drums overpower the other instruments and vocals throughout the song. “Like Treason” follows this song and reminds me of songs by A Day To Remember, with the Tom McQuade seeming to have a bit more power in his voice than in the band’s previous songs on the album.
The 7th song on the album is an unplugged break from the plugged-in art that is the Last Year album. The song’s name is “Realize” and I definitely realize how soft sounding a punk-rock band can get. This song reminds you that this band are the new kids on the block and are ready to make a name for themselves, which in my opinion, they won’t have any issues with doing. Continuing from “Realize”, “Planets” continues with the theme of fast-paced songs like “Wake Up Dead” and “Time”. This specific song reminds me of acts such as The Starting Line in terms of how the song is structured.
In the closing of the album, the last two songs are drastically different from each other. “Ohio Weather” is a song that was very well made and sounds much like the rest of the album with its punk influences, but the next song is definitely different. Starting with a piano refrain, “Glass Cities” is definitely one of my favorite songs on the album. McQuade’s vocals are very strong and very well heard over a soft piano refrain that shows the musicianship of this band. Halfway through “Glass Cities”, the distorted guitars start to blend in with the piano, with the piano slowly fading out, leading to a very nice and well planned ending, with its structure reminding me of another favorite song of mine, “If It Means A Lot To You” by A Day To Remember.
In the end, Last Year has proven to me that a band could still succeed with as little editing as possible, with this album being mostly of the natural sound of the band. Of course, the chorus edits in the album were obvious; they were professionally done and add to the songs rather than take away. I would definitely listen to this album a few more times before adding it to the rotation of my other albums. Definitely a good album, and I can’t wait for its release so I can help support this band.