Aniston - Between You And Me
Record Label: Unsigned
"Modern day rock with a killer pop sensibility." These are the words that the North Carolina based band Aniston uses to describe themselves on their resident MySpace page. The band is made up of brothers Brett and Blake Howell (vocals and percussion respectfully), Pat Ridgen (guitar/keyboard), and AJ Davis (bass). Their first EP, Between You And Me, features five diverse songs; varying from a pop-rock high tempo track, to a more melodic song that tells the story and pain of a lost soul.
The EP's first and most played track radio-wise, Your Secrets Safe With Me, kicks off with the lead guitar playing an upbeat rhythm, and is then assisted by percussion. This song, as well as the whole EP, is the product of an earlier version of Aniston, where there line up was definitely a different picture to be seen, but never the less, is still what one can consider a "classic".
The second track on Anistons' EP is titled Pick or Choose, is at the same tempo as the first song, but lyric wise it is a little more...(pardon my lack of vocabulary) catchy. The instrumental intro lasts roughly 35 seconds before the vocals pick up, which seen from live shows by the band, energizes the audience and gets them into the song. "You'll find a bottle by my head tonight", the first words from the second stanza, are arguably the words that immediately stand out to myself personally.
The third song, I've Seen Your Ways, is an acoustic set up done by Brett Howell. This track tells the story of what appears to be a man losing the woman of his heart's dreams, which along with the fifth song on the EP, can hit close to home for a lot of listeners. It starts out with the view that the singer will stand by his partner; as displayed in the lyrics "There's a story to tell, and I'll help you to sing it. You were searching for help, I was right here believing. Your time hasn't come to its end yet". But as the song progresses, the mood changes in the bridge after the second chorus "This time it isn't the same, and I won't take the blame. I'm so tired of believing, your lies are deceiving. These tears have stopped falling, and I have stopped calling your name". The song then ends with an altered version of the original chorus, which signals that the singer has moved on.
I'll Jump If You Jump picks up the tempo after the acoustic track, and does an amazing job doing so. It combines the speed of the first song, with the audience-grabbing intro of the second. Of the whole EP, I believe that I'll Jump If You Jump has one of the best choruses; "There's no time to save me now, 'cause I've been drowning, drowning, sinking so far down" (which includes backing vocals at the end of each line) second only to the EP's last song.
The last song on Anistons' EP, Reconstructing This Disaster, delivers vocals that are clearly from the heart of the songwriters. At an emotional level, this song is probably the most relate-able to some listeners as I've Seen Your Ways. The song tells the story of a person whose (presumed) father has passed away. Not much can be said about this song except that about 3 minutes and 45 seconds into the song some would presume that the song ends, but it is then picked up by the percussion. The song ends with a short bridge and closes with the repeating lyrics of "I'll leave the hall light on/I would have kept you back with me".
All in all, Between You And Me is definitely a gem in the south-east music scene, and as they continue to tour, they are destined to earn hundreds of more listeners daily.
UPDATE: Since this review has been written, Aniston has had a major line up change, and now is only made up of Blake and Brett Howell.