Divided By Friday - Prove It
Release Date: August 30, 2011
Record Label: Hopeless Records
Is it lazy to begin a review by comparing the band being reviewed to one of the most iconic bands to ever rise out of the scene? If it is, then I guess I’m a lazy guy, because Divided By Friday reminds me a lot of Fall Out Boy. It’s easy enough to see why, especially on the Prove It EP.
Lead singer and guitarist Jose Villanueva bears a host of similarities to Patrick Stump in the vocal department, as the opening title track makes clear. This isn’t a bad thing in any way; musically, Divided By Friday and Fall Out Boy don’t share many characteristics other than the fact that you could file them under the same general genre. With driven, distorted guitars, one could say the Prove It EP is a little heavier than even Fall Out Boy’s earlier work.
Villanueva’s steady, never-faltering vocals carry the band. Each of the six songs on the EP have soaring, memorable choruses that make it perfect for the end of summer. Divided By Friday is actually at its full force when Villanueva trades vocals with backup vocalist and guitarist Matt Morgan, like in the chorus of “The Dark Passenger.” The call-and-return style lends to the group’s guitar-oriented musicianship, proven again by potential single “Lost In Limbo.”
Prove It takes a turn for the cliché with “Face To Face,” featuring Tonight Alive frontwoman Jenna McDougall on guest vocals. While the song is one that has been copied plenty, it’s still an attractive number that provides a change of pace in the EP. “Face To Face” is a welcome addition to Prove It, if only to help the six songs avoid bleeding together. The closing song is entitled “Closer,” which almost makes me want to avoid mentioning it, but it really just follows the suit of the rest of the EP, provided a solid but safe ending.
Prove It presumably means that Divided By Friday thinks it’s time to take the next step in their progression. It’s time from the band to, cough, prove that they can hang with the big boys on Hopeless’ roster. And while the Fall Out Boy comparison might be lazy, it’s accurate and it’s not negative. With Prove It, Divided By Friday shows that it can clearly write a multitude of catchy pop-punk numbers, integrating accessible vocals with driven, guitar-oriented melodies. It might not be the most original release, but that hasn’t stopped me from having it on repeat for the past week and a half – and I doubt it will stop soon-to-be fans from enjoying it either.
Two years ago I filled in on bass for a local pop rock band in a battle of the bands. These guys were going to come but had another show and canceled. I remember being pumped to win until the piano player turned on one of their songs and said "Yeah, this is the competition."
Wonderful band. Can't wait for this to be released.