|Waltham Permission To Build||Indie|
It's not to often that an album comes totally out of the blue and knocks me on my ass. Normally an album is expected or anticipated, but having only just been made aware of Waltham, I had no idea what was coming.|
But one listen to these guys ensures they won't be forgotten! Yes, this is essentially a melodic modern rock (or nu-breed) style release, but don't let the tag fool you. You should not allow prior convictions bias you against checking these guys out. This is as melodic as it comes - in any form of music.
Waltham have so much to offer and have so much energy and enthusiasm, it's simply impossible not to get caught up in their utterly infectious grooves.
These guys have a modern approach to melodic rock, but in all seriousness, they are not that far removed from the classic 80's melodic rock so many of us love and crave.
For a band to claim Rick Springfield as a major influence can't be a bad thing. What I love about this album is the fact they really do claim a right to be compared to Rick. So many try, but fall well short. But Waltham to me sound close to what Rick might sound like had he been a 25 year old starting out in the business in 2003.
The whole album has this intense wall of guitars that bands like SR-71 and Marvelous 3 have nailed, yet moves beyond these guys with far catchier tunes and a real sense for pop melodies.
Permission To Build has a real Rick Springfield Working Class Dog vibe to it – which in reality is one of the great pop rock albums of all time.
Instead of the standard intro, verse, chorus arrangement, there are hooks inside guitar riffs, melodies inside vocal lines and a real sense of adventurous song writing.
Take Back To You for example. The chorus doesn't appear until more than 2 minutes into the song, yet we have already had 2 verses and a separate bridge. It makes life interesting, that's for sure.
Naturally, everything is seriously modernized, making this quite simply one of the best modern releases I have ever heard. Rarely have I heard such a consistently catchy collection of songs on one album.
Some modern rock acts struggle to change style or tempo, but every track here is different than the last and equally as rewarding.
The opening track So Lonely is one of the best feel good pop rock tracks I have heard in years. Utterly addictive and seriously melodic thanks to some brilliant guitar playing and well placed harmony vocals. All I Want is more urgent and has a faster tempo, more akin to the current SR-71 album, but features a huge anthem chorus and several more layers of guitars.
Cheryl just keeps things flowing with more pounding drums and a wall of guitars, with a very strong bridge / chorus arrangement.
Don't Say It's Too Late is pure power pop, while Hopeless is another instantly catchy gem with a modern production.
Laura is another pure genius track that matches the vibe of Working Class Dog especially closely.
The only ballad of the album is Say It Again, which is a heavy sentimental rock ballad.
The singer sounds as close to Rick Springfield as I have ever heard. Truly a great voice, which a number of bands these days are missing. I just hope some classic Rick fans will feel like checking this out. Much like Rick, these guys have a penchant for naming songs after girl's names!
The pounding rhythm section reminds me of the last Harem Scarem album Weight Of The World, which also featured classic melodic hooks to the beat of a modern production.
Waltham's drummer manages to pound the skins in much the same style, with several songs allowing for extra fills.
Move over SR-71 and Butch Walker, a new band has stolen your mantle as the new kings of nu-breed.
These guys have completely done my head in with this album of amazingly catchy, uptempo, heavy power pop. If you have been looking for something different - check these guys out. If this doesn't get you into nu-breed, then nothing ever will.
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