Why Not? – ironically – is what I said when I was asked to do a review for Still The Sky’s Limit’s full length album, dropping next Monday, December 12th. I reviewed their EP, Last Chance Past, earlier on this year, and because I was so impressed, I couldn’t wait to see what the boys from Orange County had created since their initial release.
The first song, “Until I Drown,” immediately reminded me of the band, Lost Prophets. (Anyone, still rockin’ out to “Last Train Home”? Just me? Okay.) In this track alone, among many other tracks on the record, like “Wake,” were these pop melodies backed to a hard rock sound. The vocals, unlike in Last Chance Past, are extremely raw and without filter. Why Not is an album that is not overly produced. It’s the kind of record that bears all, but in a way that lets you appreciate the artist’s vulnerability.
Browsing through the track list, a couple of songs that I grew to love on the EP found their way onto the full length. Ecstatic, I thought to listen to those tracks first to see how or if they had changed at all, but decided to do this the old fashioned way and listened to each track in the way in which they were listed. Though I discovered that wasn’t a bad way to go, as I learned that there is a through line, a story, with motifs of memories and that ever-so familiar feeling of nostalgia. Lyrics battle and contradict one another song-by-song. In “Some Know I Passed,” lead vocalist Johnny B sings, “It’s never over if we don’t forget,” and a song later in, “Before We Are We Were,” he sings, “Maybe now I’ll learn to burn the past.” There is a constant struggle, either we chose to remember or we learn to forget.
Most of the songs on Last Chance Past were acoustic beauties, but now they’ve become a little louder, except for “Square One.” It’s the only acoustic track, but it holds its own. The energy in this song is no different from the harder pop rock songs which precede it. Subsequent tracks such as, “Almost by Accident” and “Last Night,” brings the record into a full arch, ending the way it began – with a (head) bang!
Still The Sky’s Limit is not afraid of experimentation as their songs all have their own sound. Although I would classify this album as “rock,” collectively, it feels more like a quilt. There’s something for everyone to take away from this record. If you’re extremely bitter or a hopeless romantic, there’s a sound for you. So Why Not? take a chance and explore those questions whom so few dare to answer.
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Originally published on Dec 6, 2011