Surprises come in all sizes, big and small, and this one comes in the shape of five guys with a great alternative/pop-punk sound. It's already been a good week between yesterday and Sunday, and it just got better with these guys. So without more of my rambling musings, I introduce to you all my newest discovery of the day: Seven Story Fall.
From right here in Atlanta, Georgia, SSF are a five-piece pop-punk band with the intensity of Mayday Parade and the melody and lyrical themes of Boys Like Girls. Composed of Mike Hart (lead vocals), Justin Calalay (guitar), TJ Routon (guitar), Ryan McManus (bass and vocals), and Wes Moore (drums), Seven Story Fall aren't exactly new to the Atlanta scene, having been featured on Project 96.1 and Comcast local bands, but for some reason a major label record deal has eluded them so far. Why this is is beyond me, because these guys are incredible, even recording a pop-punk version of Akon's hit single "Right Now (Na Na Na)."
But that's someone else's work. These guys have more than enough of their own stuff that could get them a deal easy, and if you ask me, Warner Bros. and Universal will be fighting each other soon enough to sign these guys.
The first song I listen to from their most recent album, The Getaway, is the title track, and it's already freakin' amazing. Starting on gritty drumbeat and bass line by Moore and McManus respectively, Calalay and Routon jam in on their guitar and provide a wall of sound that provides a perfect stage for Hart's smooth, melodic vocals. This is just one of those songs that is a must-hear, and probably the staple song at their concerts. With Routon and Calalay stop-starting on their guitars, laying down harsh chords next to tuneful notes and progressions, Hart shoots us into the stratosphere with his slick, polished vocals as McManus provides the jet fuel with his pounding bass lines and backing vocals, and Moore initiates the blastoff ignition with his Keith Moon-style drumming. No doubt the leadoff single from their album, "The Getaway" has a tune that will stick in your head no matter how many days you go without hearing it, but you'll never complain. You could be humming worse things.
Track two on my set-list is "Don't Say," a more hardcore track than the first. This doesn't mean that SSF have opted for a Slayer sound, though, lol. Moore's drumming has taken on a new light, speeding up and exuding an intensity that is polished off by McManus's desperately perfect bass notes. On top of the tight rhythm section, Routon and Calalay lay down walls of guitars for Hart's vocals. One shoots into a progression as the other keeps rhythm, and then they switch, and it works so well, it's almost like they created the technique themselves. Above it all, Hart pushes his vocal chords to their limits, and new levels of melody and intensity are achieved, much to my thrill. With a catchy chorus and driving verses, "Don't Say" is another five-star track SSF lay down without breaking a sweat.
Then I move on to "The American Dream." Though there is an acoustic version of this track on the album as well, I opted for the electric one to continue SSF's electric sound. Shot off from the start with Hart's vocals melding with Routon's and Calalay's guitars, this track is already stuck in my head for the next week. Moore, here, has adopted a stop-start style of drumming which works incredibly well with how Hart lays out the vocals on top of the guitar tracks. A hidden diamond, though, among all the melody and polish, is McManus's vocals. Though his bass, too, adds a great grounding nerve to the song, his backing vocals behind Hart give the song a never-stopping sensation, one that keeps you in the cockpit all the way through the energized 3 minutes.
The last track on my set-list is "Compromised." Without a doubt one of the more hardcore, intense songs on the album, "Compromised" leads off with a brilliant rhythm guitar chord set by Calalay as Routon blasts forward with a note progression that gets you going from second one. Then Morre and McManus strike down with a bass line and drumbeat that pull you through the the wall of sound as Hart's vocals inject you with the adrenaline of a thousand white-hot suns. The perfect song to end the set-list with, and if I do say so myself, the perfect song to end a show with. This one will definitely keep people coming back for more, and with a track like this, it's no wonder why. The A&R men of companies like A&M and Columbia must be having lobotomies to have not signed these guys yet. I'd sign them in the ten seconds it would take to say "Done deal" if I had a label of my own. Brilliant job guys, and I'll definitely be at your next show.
Sounds Like: Boys Like Girls, Forever the Sickest Kids, Mayday Parade, You Me At Six
Key Tracks from The Getaway: "The Getaway," "Compromised," "Don't Say," "The American Dream"