You never forget your firsts. First kiss. First date. First…well you get the idea, but since I don’t have firsts of the normal social realm, I’ll never forget my first article, interview and in person band interview which happens to be Burbank’s own, Back Pocket Memory. I had no clue who they were at the time, but I fell for their sound in an instant when their music came to me in an email. 2010’s Strangers still resides on my iPod today and finally got a BPM neighbor with 2011’s Beneath The Trees.
This time around it wasn’t through the internet where I first heard BPM’s new material; it was on a Tuesday night on the Sunset Strip. One note of “Illustrated Girl” and I was onboard. The music was spot on, big props to Eddie Rosales (guitar), Ian Felchlin (guitar), Rob Gallagher (bass) and Jason Montgomery (drummer) for that. The band delivers throughout the record, but I have to point out this thing they do well, especially in the catchy ass tune, “Extra Extra.” They have these moments where the vocals will stand alone and then the band will come back in at just the right time to create a balanced act.
Speaking of vocals, Chris Pennington’s Incubus similarity is present in verses of “The Greatest Divide,” but it seems Chris has stepped out of that comparison a lot more on Beneath The Trees than with Strangers. It seems as a whole, this record shows a lot of growth as musicians, but maybe not so much in their realities, which isn’t a bad thing. With Strangers, I loved the sound, but with Beneath The Trees, I’m in love with the lyrics. They’re those ones you relate to when you’re feeling like a ship at sea not able to see the North Star. “…please make my reality better than my dreams” from “Illustrated Girl” and the albums anchor, “Shining Light” showcase this and by far have been the ones on repeat in my world.
Last time around it was the ever incessant ways of “Bergerac” off of Strangers that caught my ear and it also was their single that got played on The World famous KROQ out here in LA…Not saying my loving it had anything to do with it, but still…So sitting down with the new album I tried to pick a favorite and lyrics and their obvious instrumentation success aside, my ears rang a little louder when “All We Have” and one I’ve highlighted already, the schoolyard sounding, “Extra Extra.” Why these two? They have the ability to construct a home at the base of listeners’ memories and refuse to settle on a new address.
So if you have A Crow Left of the Murder and The Earth Sings Mi Fa Mi in your CD collection, then adding Beneath The Trees will fit right in. So if you have something to do, drop those plans and go get Back Pocket Memory’s Beneath The Trees.
Originally published August 15, 2011