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The Personist 07/29/08 08:23 PM

October Nites - When We Were Infinite
 
October Nites - When We Were Infinite
Record Label: None
Release Date: August 14, 2007


The pop/rock and pop-punk scene is one that has become quickly overpopulated by watered-down New Found Glory wannabes simply looking to make a quick dime with a boring sound. Thankfully, there are a few bands whose main concern is not money but making music that is both refreshing and fun. I can safely say that Syracuse, New York’s October Nites falls into the second category. The seven-song When We Were Infinite is a solid release that paints a promising portrait of fresh and energizing pop-punk.

The first song is merely a sixteen-second piano lead-in for “Love According To Kid ‘N Play,” which bursts out of the gate with driving rhythms and bouncing lead guitars. The straightforward lyrics are earnestly delivered, as lead singer Steve Gage sings, “Tonight it feels so right / And as we speak our worlds collide / Into the darkness of this moonlit sky / You know it’s been so long / And all the time that I’ve been gone I’ve been thinking about you baby.” Though certainly not the deepest of verses, these lyrics are from the heart and bring a similar charm that those of New Found Glory do to the table. Gage’s voice is accessible and pleasing to the ear, not to mention untouched by studio trickery (a definite plus in my book), and Naren Ananda’s harmonies are the icing on the cake.

“California? It’s Kind Of A Long Story...” slows it down a bit, but a slower tempo does not a boring song make. Brandon Wakeham’s drumming is on-point; it drives the mid-tempo tune tastefully yet still in such a fashion that it showcases his own proficiency at the kit. This track segues into the rocking “Give It A Try”; this song does pop-punk right: the plaintive lyrics are sung with what is arguably Gage’s best delivery on the album, in a style similar to Jordan Pundik’s (without being too similar, though; it’s more an homage than a rip-off). A halftime section with gang vocals gives way to a blistering solo from Ananda, which shows the world that he knows his way around a fret board. His guitar playing in general is noteworthy, and though I at first raised an inquisitive eyebrow at the use of “dragon-slaying solos” in the “sounds like” section of October Nites’ Myspace, the lead guitar in this song alone justifies that description.

The next song is a perfect ballad. “So Tell Me...” features lead guitar that wouldn’t be out of place on a Motley Crue or Poison song, but the song itself does not succumb to that sort of hair metal melodrama. It is another track full of earnest heartache and melancholy. Gage’s voice rings out beautifully as he laments, “You paint a cloud over me,” a line that leads into a harmony-laden chorus that will stick in your head for days. “It’s Over Now” is probably the angriest song on the album. Gage says outright, “I’ve spent way too much time on you,” and though the song itself is a peppy and upbeat number, it is ultimately the weakest on the album, as it succumbs to the melodrama that When We Were Infinite for the most part avoids. Calling it a low point isn’t to say that it won’t lead to toe-tapping or head-bobbing, however; it’s still a catchy and fun pop song, even if it doesn’t soar quite as high as the other songs here. The album ends with “TGIF,” which features a chorus so saccharine that it threatens to induce a sugar coma in the best possible way. Ananda’s guitar leads subtly accent the verses, ultimately ending this album on a high note.

October Nites have here created a debut deserving of your attention. The biggest problem with this album is its brevity; clocking in at a mere 21-minutes, When We Were Infinite shows the incredible potential had by this little band from Syracuse but leaves the listener wishing for more. Nevertheless, they have created a fun album with the pop sensibilities of Cartel and New Found Glory, but have done so in a way that helps maintain the very organic feel of Pinkerton-era Weezer and earlier Dashboard Confessional. All in all, When We Were Infinite is a solid debut and a fun record throughout. October Nites is not signed as yet, but if these songs have anything to say about it, they soon will be.

Recommended if You LikeNew Found Glory, Cartel, All Time Low, Fall Out Boy, Hit the Lights, pop that's fun without being derivative

myspace.com/octobernites

saving jonathan 08/06/08 08:13 PM

I gave a listen to them. I don't see how this deserves that high of a score.
Way too high on vocals, musicianship, production and definitely creativity.
I understand you're probably a bit biased, that's just my opinion.

xbrianwardx 08/06/08 09:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by saving jonathan (Post 16216681)
I gave a listen to them. I don't see how this deserves that high of a score.
Way too high on vocals, musicianship, production and definitely creativity.
I understand you're probably a bit biased, that's just my opinion.


Granted everyone is entitled to their opinion but on what grounds can you say this? It's very easy for you to criticize but I don't see you backing up a single one of your opinions with any substance. Coming from a 20 year old kid that probably has done nothing substantial in the music business to date you really have no place to come in tell the reviewer how wrong he / she is. Furthermore, why the accusation of a biased reviewer? Some people just know solid bands when they hear them.

While I feel that October Nites still have quite a ways to come before they could potentially "break", for a first release, this smokes anything you and your friends surely have ever done. When a band comes together and puts out an EP that's up to this caliber it's not long before they start putting out shit that is blowing dude's minds & wetting girl's panties before the first chorus even hits. Listen to all your favorite pop band's demo tapes and first records. They all suck for the most part but they have a certain charisma to them that makes you hold on to them. Bring a band into the picture that is already a step above that & you have a pop punk time bomb ready to blow it's load all over the world.

I give October Nites exactly two years until they're known coast to coast & sleeping with your girl every time they play your city.

Food for thought.

middle_names 08/06/08 09:28 PM

very good
 
i definetly dont agree with save_jonathon, though i do respect his opinion, because everyone likes different stuff.

this is a good, solid album. the tracks are all very good, and its radio ready without being mindless and boring. they're nice guys, i've spoken to them on AIM, and they dont mind my mindless fan rambling. that doesn't mean i'm biased, i wouldnt be commenting if i didnt like it.

check this out, if you don't like it, fine, but at least you checked it out. and if you do, great! you can buy their cd, and be their fan. and get them big, so they'll get signed.

this is a good band, with good music, so why not check them out, for the heck of it? theres no reason not to.

thx for reading :-)
-middle_names

birtcho 08/07/08 12:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by saving jonathan (Post 16216681)
I gave a listen to them. I don't see how this deserves that high of a score.
Way too high on vocals, musicianship, production and definitely creativity.
I understand you're probably a bit biased, that's just my opinion.

i gave a listen to them too and they have a lot of potential. i'll probbably pick up their new stuff when it comes out

The Personist 08/07/08 10:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by xbrianwardx (Post 16223991)
Granted everyone is entitled to their opinion but on what grounds can you say this? It's very easy for you to criticize but I don't see you backing up a single one of your opinions with any substance. Coming from a 20 year old kid that probably has done nothing substantial in the music business to date you really have no place to come in tell the reviewer how wrong he / she is. Furthermore, why the accusation of a biased reviewer? Some people just know solid bands when they hear them.

While I feel that October Nites still have quite a ways to come before they could potentially "break", for a first release, this smokes anything you and your friends surely have ever done. When a band comes together and puts out an EP that's up to this caliber it's not long before they start putting out shit that is blowing dude's minds & wetting girl's panties before the first chorus even hits. Listen to all your favorite pop band's demo tapes and first records. They all suck for the most part but they have a certain charisma to them that makes you hold on to them. Bring a band into the picture that is already a step above that & you have a pop punk time bomb ready to blow it's load all over the world.

I give October Nites exactly two years until they're known coast to coast & sleeping with your girl every time they play your city.

Food for thought.



You made me blush when you defended me.

You also did a better job than I could have of defending the review. Thanks!

saving jonathan 08/07/08 02:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by xbrianwardx (Post 16223991)
Granted everyone is entitled to their opinion but on what grounds can you say this? It's very easy for you to criticize but I don't see you backing up a single one of your opinions with any substance. Coming from a 20 year old kid that probably has done nothing substantial in the music business to date you really have no place to come in tell the reviewer how wrong he / she is. Furthermore, why the accusation of a biased reviewer? Some people just know solid bands when they hear them.

While I feel that October Nites still have quite a ways to come before they could potentially "break", for a first release, this smokes anything you and your friends surely have ever done. When a band comes together and puts out an EP that's up to this caliber it's not long before they start putting out shit that is blowing dude's minds & wetting girl's panties before the first chorus even hits. Listen to all your favorite pop band's demo tapes and first records. They all suck for the most part but they have a certain charisma to them that makes you hold on to them. Bring a band into the picture that is already a step above that & you have a pop punk time bomb ready to blow it's load all over the world.

I give October Nites exactly two years until they're known coast to coast & sleeping with your girl every time they play your city.

Food for thought.



Sheesh. I didn't know I would be made out to be some kind of huge asshole when I wrote that post.
You and I obviously disagree on all of this, but what makes your opinion any more valid than mine?

Yeah, I'm some 20-something kid with no experience in the music business. Believe it or not though, I actually can recognize good music when I hear it. I never said this was bad music, not at all. All I said was that I disagreed with the high scores. So if you want an explanation, let me break it down for you.

Vocals - Nearly a 9? Don't get me wrong, the guy has a decent voice, even a good voice. But on a scale of 1-10? An 8.75 seems a bit high to me due to the lack of range showcased on the songs. His voice also sounds like plenty of other pop-punk bands out there (All-American Rejects, Boys Like Girls, etc.) which lessens it's value to me. I'd give them a 7 or so.

Musicianship - This is one of the ones I had the biggest argument with. A 9.25? That is an almost perfect score. Anyone who listens to these songs can tell you that the musicianship is nowhere near perfect. The guitar riffs aren't bad at all. Catchy, yet still rather simple for the most part. The same goes for rhythm. The drumming is pretty tight, but still not perfect. I'd rate it overall around an 8 or so.

Production - This one I will admit I might have misjudged a tad. The production is pretty good, but once again a 9.5 is practically perfect. I wouldn't call it that. I think the vocals could have used a bit of work, maybe a little gloss to go with the glossy guitars. Still fairly high, maybe an 8.5 I would give it.

Creativity - Finally, my last argument. Let's be quite honest, this is absolutely nothing new. As far as pop-punk goes, this is just another band in the bin. They can go along with the likes of Boys Like Girls, We The Kings, All-American Rejects. I know a handful of local bands myself who write this exact type of music, it's played out. I don't hate on them for wanting to play that kind of music, but it's in no way original or overly creative. I'd give it a 6 or so.

As for what I said about being a bit biased, I only meant that the reviewer obviously (after reading the review) has love for the band. He likes the band a lot, as his reviewer tilt will show. That's all I'm saying. It's a lot easier to rate something higher when you enjoy it a great deal, as I'm sure the reviewer did.

All in all, this band is in no way horrible. The EP is a very solid debut by any standards. It's catchy and fun. I wish the band all the best in their endeavors. However, to me this is just another pop-punk release that sounds waytoosimilar to handfuls of other bands trying to do the exact same thing. Maybe this band is better than most of those bands and maybe they do have more potential. That's great. But the thing is that they still sound just like the others and they did nothing to me to stand out in my mind. Like I said, just because an album like this (which I might have had a score somewhere in the mid-70's I'm guessing) doesn't receive a super high score doesn't make it non-enjoyable. In the the end, it matters how much you enjoy listening to the music.

As for you personally trying to bring me down (Ex. "this smokes anything you and your friends surely have ever done", "sleeping with your girl everytime they play your city") grow the fuck up. I simply did not agree with the score of this album. When you're trying to make an argument, try to be mature and not act like a complete jackass. If you're making personal attacks at someone who is disagreeing with you, you obviously are running out of shit to back up what you're saying.

I never said the reviewer was wrong, I simply stated my opinion. Which if I remember correctly, you stated I'm entitled to. So are you, get over other people not agreeing with you all the time. I don't see this band hitting it big, but if they do you can totally come back and rub my fucking face in it if it will get rid of your hard on for them.

saving jonathan 08/07/08 02:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ArtfullyAborted (Post 16271821)
You made me blush when you defended me.

You also did a better job than I could have of defending the review. Thanks!


As for your review, it was well-written. You did a very good job, I just disagreed with the scores a tad.
Please don't take it personally. Everyone has and is entitled to their opinion, you can be assured I respect yours.

The Personist 08/07/08 02:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by saving jonathan (Post 16301441)
As for your review, it was well-written. You did a very good job, I just disagreed with the scores a tad.
Please don't take it personally. Everyone has and is entitled to their opinion, you can be assured I respect yours.


Thanks for the kind words about the writing, and I"m glad to see you weren't just being a dick.

Some people don't know what an "opinion" is; God forbid someone HAVE one!

xbrianwardx 08/07/08 06:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by saving jonathan (Post 16301251)
As for you personally trying to bring me down (Ex. "this smokes anything you and your friends surely have ever done", "sleeping with your girl everytime they play your city") grow the fuck up. I simply did not agree with the score of this album. When you're trying to make an argument, try to be mature and not act like a complete jackass. If you're making personal attacks at someone who is disagreeing with you, you obviously are running out of shit to back up what you're saying.



Hahaha. You're a baby. Sorry your girl is a street walkin' jezebel.

The Personist 08/07/08 10:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by xbrianwardx (Post 16328161)
Hahaha. You're a baby. Sorry your girl is a street walkin' jezebel.



All right, don't be a dick. He explained himself decently, so there's no need to perpetuate a conflict that could have ended with his post.

ntbrewno 08/08/08 07:39 AM

Hands down, this band has what it takes... live show is incredible! The guitarist can light fire to a fretboard haha