Now, although Broadside released a few singles back in 2019, it has been a minute (2017) since the band has released a full-length record. With that in mind, once word of their 2020 album hit the circuit, fans began to build the hype. Let’s look to see if this record was worth the wait. As one listens to the record a few things stick out from the jump. The first thing is that their approach to instrumentals are relatively similar to that of their past two LPs. The drums establish a likeable groove that provides a blanket of sound for the band to work with, and the strings accent the vocal line with small nuances that intrigue the listener by providing small moments of “oh wow, that little diddy was cool!” The second thing, however, that sticks out is that through this release, the band places the vocals more in the forefront, for the instrumentals, in most instances, feel as if they are there to just support the main vocal line instead of partner with them. This technique shifts the overall scope of sound for the band, for now they don’t come off as a rager pop punk artist. Now, on the other hand, they come across as a vibing alternative rock band with a few selections that bop a tad harder than others. In general, there are a lot of songs on the make that start with heavy intent, which grabs the attention of the listeners, but as they move along, they lose their luster. Overall, I am giving this album a 3.5 out of 5 stars. I am giving this record such a score, for the music found on the make is rather solid and lyrically speaking, the content is relatable; however, the composite of the album is very generic, which, in turn, makes the record sort of forgettable. The shift of sound scope for the artist was well received: the record just feels as if something is missing.
“The Raging Sea”, “Dancing on the Ceiling (With You)”, and “The Setting Sun”
As one listens to the record, it is apparent that the majority of the make follows a specific mold. However, the band takes a few liberties within their own musical world. During these moments, the band captures the audience with catchy and memorable lyrical lines paired with instrumentals that rage but also intrigue the ear. These musical moments are found in these top tracks. Thus, if you want to feel the miniature version of the highs and lows of this album, musically speaking- I would start here.
At first glance, this record portrays an image that is very new for the Broadside brand. Normally, Broadside goes for a light approach to an image to help drive the brighter, summer aesthetic in which their sound normally resides. Now, this picture? The exact opposite. The cover art depicts a soul wavering in the deep dark sea. The “lightest” portion of the art are the splashes of white that help accent the waves of the deep ocean. With this in mind, let’s look at the music to see the connection they may or may not have. When listening to the record from front to back it is heard that the overall scoring places the band in a much richer tonal area, for the majority of the album toys with keys, instrumentally speaking, which rests in the lower portion of the vocalist’s range. This helps to stretch the sound of the band- a sound that diverts them from their normally poppy and bright sound into this now retro, alternative punk sound. This connects to the album artwork, for their shift in sound relates to the color scheme of the cover. This connection helps to show the audience that not only is the visual aesthetic changing for the band, but their personal sound will be evolving with the times as well. Additionally, the inclusion of the soul lost in the deep blue ocean connects to the lyrical content on the record because the majority of the selections talk about being lost, confused, hurt, and alone. Having the lost and lifeless image adds to the dark and ominous aura that the band was creating with the image and having these two components together helps to solidify the concept of the record for the listeners. In general, I would say that the two work well on their own as well as together, but the connection between the two aren’t the most enchanting thing.
*”Into the Raging Sea” was released on July 24th, 2020 through Sharptone Records.