June Divided – The Other Side of You
Record Label: Unsigned
Release Date: February 2011
I’m a recent college grad. I have no job prospects. Resume is updated and I’m looking, but nothing seems to stick. It’s a pretty desolate market out there. Sometimes I want to just turn my back on the entire job scene, throw my hands up, say, “Screw it,” and find something I truly love to do. If it weren’t for the fact that I need some green in my bank account, I’d do it. I’d forget the 9-5 and start something of my own. And, if I had any musical affinities, I’d do what Melissa Menago and Chris Kissel did and start a band. Fresh out of college and fresh out of patience with the working world, they did a 180 and started a band – June Divided. With the debut of their first EP, The Other Side of You, people should be happy they didn’t find office jobs.
After 86’ing the job market, songs were written, practices were had, a Craigslist ad was posted, and a quartet was officially formed. Their EP dropped in February of this year, and it’s jam-packed full of musicality in only 6 songs. It’s quite rare that I hear something on first listen and I like it. The Other Side of You was one of those rare occurrences.
The album kicks off with “If You Were Here.” It starts soft, gains some momentum, and eventually kicks right into a solid pop rock track. The chorus is catchy with a bit of an edge that keeps the song grounded in reality. “The Other Side of You” starts off faster with great guitar and drum work. It has a beat and a hook that would be amazing to hear and experience live. “Perfect Storm” starts off with guitars that you could’ve heard on Paramore’s Riot!. Again, the chorus is written perfectly for the song and it’s perfect for getting stuck in your head. It’s an up-tempo song with the beauty of pop rock edginess. “Breathless” lends itself to a possible Evanescence comparison with some of the strongest vocals on the record. If you’ve heard any song from this EP, it would be “Bullet.” It’s gotten some local airplay in their hometown of Philadelphia and other stations across the country. Now, I’ve held off the Hayley Williams comparisons as long as I can, but when you hear this track, it’s undeniable. This is probably my favorite track on the EP because of the definite pop rock sound that it has. It’s the track that’s the catchiest and has the best chorus and chorus beat. The EP ends with “Shadows,” probably the darkest track. The lyrics are slow, but progressive. It’s the only true ballad on the album, which I understand and appreciate.
I want to also make note of how mature this band sounds. Both the founding members are graduates of Drexel University in the music industry program. They’ve played music since they were kids. Melissa has studied classical piano since she was 11 and has been playing the guitar since she was 13. The cohesiveness of the instrumentals is a joy to hear from such a new band. With a likening to bands like Explosions in the Sky, to Jimmy Eat World, to Evanescence, to Paramore, to even the slightest hint of a young Alanis Morissette, June Divided provides a smorgasbord of musicality for just about any pop rock fan. Let’s just hope they don’t find jobs anytime soon because I’m looking forward to a full-length. I suspect others will be looking forward to it, too.
My buddy Rich is the band's bassist, which was a shock to me because he'd always played guitar in other bands. Regardless, he, too, is a graduate of Drexel (also the Music Industry program) and is one of the most talented guys I know.
I'm really excited for him and this band. Big things should come from them.