Die erste Vorladung (XIII)
The Wilderness Inside gets off to an understated start with “In Waves.” A bit moodier and darker in tone, it fits well within the tone of the album. Things pick up during the chorus but never quite grab you. The production is subdued as well – you almost get the sense of being underwater due to the way the sound has a stifled feel to it which makes the title more apt. The next song “The Mistakes” is more of a power pop tune with lovelorn lyrics. Kennedy’s slightly sweet, slightly sad vocals make for a bittersweet confection that gels with the music.
“Crushed Like The Car” was the first single released from The Wilderness Inside, and for good reason. Pulsing guitar and drums punctuate each opening note, only to be met with vocals and minimal instrumentation for the impending bridge. Kennedy’s confusion and longing eventually devolve into a chaotic guitar solo that leads to even more cathartic confessions. “Crushed Like The Car” is one of the highlights of this album. Another standout includes the breezy ode to vinyl “Spinning On The Record.” For all of us life-long music fans this track will strike a nerve and make you feel both very young and quite old at the same time.
Army Navy have made a really good album – it’s somewhat forgettable though. You may find yourself listening to it and realizing that it’s come and gone without noticing. I wish there was something that stood out in either tone or sound, but the album tends to run together. This is an album for those who appreciate the power pop genre, and of course, for previous fans of Army Navy.
Any of these ten songs could be the song of your summer, whether it’s ultimately one of dreamy happiness (“In Waves”) or a bright but brief love (“World’s End”). The harmonies and melodies are irresistable and sunny, even when the subject matter turns gloomy as on album standout “Crushed Like A Car.”
Power-pop bands are sometimes critizied as being too same-sounding, hitting the same tired notes, or failing to move forward or progress. Army Navy avoid this pitfall by expanding the scope of their influences. While there are the obvious hints of Matthew Sweet and The Raspberries to be found without looking too hard, there are also traces of ’80s New Wave, outlaw country and even a little folk. The band incorporates all these elements seemlessly into their music. The album isn’t some warmed up AM Gold collection, it’s something new and fresh.
Army Navy make music that sounds like the best times of your life. It’s fun, it’s energetic, it sticks with you and it’s so well crafted it can (and almost demands) repeat listens. Like a favorite memory of that one perfect day, (you know the one), it invites you back again and again and never disappoints.
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