Thursday, July 12, 2012

Album Review: "The Approach" by Kyoto Drive

Kyoto Drive out of Birmingham, England (one of my favorite places I saw in England by the way), just put out a new mini-album, The Approach on I Am Mighty Records and it's no joke.

Overall they have a really solid sound, something kind of Mayday Parade esque, but minus the constant theme of 'just how sad can I make you with a song' that Mayday has. Think lyrics like Boys Like Girls or Cartel with a Mayday sound.

The intro to the mini-album, "Receive This Little Breath" can make one anxious, worrying of an overproduced, studio phenomenon to follow, but it's not. It's followed up by a strong guitar intro in "Holiday" and in the second listen-through it fits the album and does just what it needs to prime the ears.

Though honestly? "Holiday" stands alone just fine with an acoustic guitar. Don't believe me? Check out this video they did for Already Heard. It's fantastic.

(Even with the sirens in the background it's good. Actually that might just add an edgy sort of touch right?)

It's impossible not to bob your head along with "So Much Alive", my second favorite track on the album. It was catchy without being annoying and by the end I caught myself mentally singing along. "I've got this feeling / I'm awake but it feels like dreaming." The song just screams to be stuck in your head, resting there until you can't think of anything else, but in a completely great way (not a "Call Me Maybe" or a "What Makes You Beautiful" kind of way. Those two songs are going to be the death of me).

"Faking Laughs For Photographs" and "Chapters" play two different sides of the emotional coin and Faking might be as close to Mayday as they get. The words tug on heart strings, an anthem for the brokenhearted just trying to survive. "Chapters" is peppier, a toe-tapper kind of song, but still full of emotion. It's the kind of song that you love every time it comes up on shuffle and probably wind up tweeting lyrics to.

My favorite track is the last one, "You Never Know" which intros with a solid piano line a la Something Corporate or anyone else daring enough to stick a piano or keys line in a rock song. It's an introspective journey, the story of the musician, the music lover, the writer, and just how they manage to hold it together. Vocals stand up to powerful (not loud, powerful) music, words find their way into your heart and by the end of it you've stopped doing whatever you were doing in the background and wind up listening to just the song.

All in all, it's solid work and definitely worth getting your hands on (iTunes and Spotify folks). If you need a taste you can stream three of the songs on their facebook page and be sure to add them on twitter as well.

Now I get to sit back and wait for them to wander to my end of the pond.


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