The Workout - Sounds Like A Blast
Record Label: Self-Signed
Release Date: October 2, 2010
The Workout is a pop-metal band, and with their debut album Sounds Like A Blast they try to combine two genres that would normally be seen as total opposites. While this isn't a foreign concept to combine pop and metal, The Workout surprisingly does decent job of it, resulting in a fun and energetic album.
When I heard that they are a "Pop-Metal" band I thought "Katy Perry with screams?" Thankfully they aren't that horrifying (although that would be hilarious). More like Simple Plan combined with Asking Alexandria with A Day To Remember sprinkled on. The Workout does all the basic metal/hardcore genre ideals well. Gang chants, breakdowns, really nice guitar solos, etc. But if that was all they were, they would be a very boring and generic band indeed. Thankfully what gives them a unique sound is the pop clean vocals and lyrics. It gives the whole album a "breath of fresh air" feel. After a gauntlet of growls and screams hearing frontman Ian Oliver come in with his surprisingly good voice and hear him sing the pop side of the band is a nice relief from the generic metal portions.
While no one song is a stand-out, my favorite portion of the album is songs six through eight. "Just South of Boston" is a very good piano piece and it's a nice break from the rest of the album. "Or Some Other Safe Place" continues the piano with a one minute interlude and the calmness is a pleasant listen before "No...Yes!" comes and kicks you out of it full force.
Unfortunately the album does have faults. The intro "We Ducked, We Covered..." makes no sense in the context of the album and has no reason to be included. It's slow, boring, and has the generic air raid siren that seems to be cropping up in a lot of album intros these days. Also while the pop-metal vibe is a nice sound, The Workout haven't perfected it. In some songs, specifically in "And Then We Heard The Birds", the jump between the signing and growls is very jarring, with no transition or warning at all, and doesn't sound good. Thankfully this only happens in a few songs, and is not a whole album fault.
The Workout have definitely made a spot on my iPod. Sounds Like A Blast is a decent unique sound, that gives a breath of fresh air every time I listen to it. While the experience may be jarring and disjointed in some spots , it is still a very decent listen for someone looking for something a tiny bit different.