After having Close The Distance for a week, I can already say this is the record Jason Lancaster was born to write.
This time, Go Radio take a more pop-rock route than gritty pop-punk - and it's the perfect direction for them. The songs exhibit Lancaster's ability to manipulate melodies and choruses in order to truly pack a punch. To accomplish this, song structure allows each song to build and grow into a chorus, making Close The Distance the most dynamic collection of songs Lancaster has written. Each song being penned in a way that builds anticipation for the hook. This is exactly how pop-rock music should be done - take notes.
I don't want to give away too much until my official review, but just know that if you're a fan of Go Radio's previous material, this tops that again and again. Whereas Lucky Street was a perfect balance of gritty - tracks like "Kill The Beast" - and sentimental pop-rock tunes - I'm looking at "Hold On" - Close The Distance eliminates the gap between the two, closing the distance, and has Go Radio going right down the piano-pop-rock path. This is the road they've been destined to take for years, and it's one that will put a huge smile on your face track after track.
I wasn't sure if Go Radio could top Lucky Street with the perfect Fall record, but Close The Distance is the record they've always been supposed to make - it's catchy, melodic, and meticulous. Come September, this is the record that will get the guys the attention they've always deserved.
Go Radio's sophomore record, Close The Distance, drops September 18th via Fearless. Listen to "Go To Hell" and "Collide"
Yellowcard with Go Radio and Every Avenue – House Of Blues in Dallas, TX on November 13, 2011
Growing up with Ocean Avenue constantly in my stereo, Yellowcard have really meant a lot to me throughout the years. With Paper Walls being a monumental record for them and When You’re Through Thinking, Say Yes being a wonderful return, the guys continuously prove why they still have such a name for themselves. Therefore, when I found out about their show, I couldn’t wait to attend. Likewise, my love for Go Radio – it was my second time seeing them this year – and Every Avenue made my anticipation for the show grow even greater. Go Radio started the night relatively early, but they didn’t waste any time. Sticking mainly to Lucky Street cuts, Lancaster and crew tore through the set list. As full of energy and excitement as ever, the band was incredibly entertaining, as expected. Racing through “Kill The Beast” and slowing down with the beautiful “Goodnight Moon” – joined by Yellowcard’s Sean Mackin on violin for that one – Go Radio really killed it. They even played their energetic cover of “Rolling in the Deep,” demonstrating Lancaster’s vocal abilities first hand.
Every Avenue followed with their Southern rock swag. Opening with “Tie Me Down,” the fellow Fearless band were quite a blast live. Other Bad Habits numbers such as “Whatever Happened To You” and the mellow “Only Place I Call Home” proved the skill of vocalist David Strauchman on the stage. The guys were amped up and ready to rock, finishing with the addictive “Tell Me I’m A Wreck” to a crowd belting out the hooks.
After an impressive light show and intro, Yellowcardtook the stage. Simply put, the crowd went nuts the whole time, as it was the first tour Yellowcard have headlined in six years. Opening with “For You, And Your Denial,” Yellowcard played over 20 songs – just about a two hour long set. The guys knew exactly what the fans wanted to hear, playing various hits from all their records – and even some surprises (yes I mean you “Avondale”).
“Only One” had the whole crowd absolutely screaming their lungs out with Key, while the poignant “Empty Apartment” and “Sing For Me” – which Key played alone, acoustically – were sentimental and intricate. LP also played an impressive drum solo piece in there, as well. Although being such a long set, Yellowcard never lost an ounce of energy, being as fun and amped up as ever, with a crowd that couldn’t wait for the next song.
Key came into the crowd multiple times, while Mackin, Mendez, and O’Donnell were incredibly amusing on the stage – talkative, friendly, and excited. Older cuts such as “Breathing” and of course “Way Away” were colossal, while the rare “Cut Me, Mick” and new “See Me Smiling” really brought everything together, making the whole show really timeline Yellowcard’s discography in brilliant fashion. The set list couldn’t have been better.
Playing not one but four encores, the guys made it clear that this was a show all about reuniting for the fans – that the band is centered around the fans. Finishing with the huge “Ocean Avenue,” Yellowcard could not have played a stronger set or show. The show proved all the more that Yellowcard are still just as young and lively as ever – not that that should be a surprise to anyone.
Easily one of the most memorable nights of my life, I cannot recommend seeing this show any more. From the stellar opening bands to the absolutely monumental performance by Yellowcard, the night was an absolute blast for everyone.
Basically picking up right where Witness left off, Blessthefall are back with Awakening. Therefore, it's safe to say if you enjoyed the former record, this one will be right up your alley - it's heavier, more structured, and the vocal delivery is much stronger. I guess it's Witness Pt. 2 only cranked up and with better musicianship and instrumentation. Oh and it's heavy. The guitar play is also a huge standout this time around.
Not a lot to say yet, as I'll leave the gist of it for my review. However, this will definitely turn some heads for fans of the genre, as it cements the growth of the band in every aspect.
The record drops October 4th via Fearless Records so be on the watch for my review around that time.