October Fall - A Season In Hell
Release Date: February 21, 2006
Record Label: Fueled By Ramen
October Fall may be one of the newest additions to Fueled By Ramen/Decaydence’s roster, but they have already gotten hold of the “How To Write A Catchy Song” manual and have even added a couple chapters. With A Season In Hell, the dark title certainly is indicative of moody, downbeat tracks, but the CD instead displays many of the complete opposite. Overflowing power chords, songs filled to the brim with emotion, soaring vocals, and smooth piano melodies are all intrinsic characteristics of October Fall’s sound.
The first five songs on the album are huge. Each puts the anthemic qualities that Fueled By Ramen albums are becoming widely known for on display for the world to hear. The production/mixing is rock-solid, and Pat D’Andrea’s ranging vocals are superb. After a while, the guitar riffs become a bit predictable, but October Fall manage to twist the songs themselves into easily accessible, palatable, and—most of all—fun stories. Sure, they are not all giddy pop tracks, but the encouraging “Walking” fuses the best of both worlds. It tells a somber story, but more than anything focuses on looking toward the future. It’s, in a word, uplifting. “Caught in the Rain” is as undeniably addictive pop rock as they come, and you won’t be able to repress it.
“Hey Hey” is probably the biggest standout from the remaining six songs, but “Keep It Comin’” gives it a strong battle. Both songs are fun, instrumentally flawless (although not overly complex), and go to show the mainstream appeal that October Fall is sure to encounter. These guys when they catch on will make it huge; mark my words.
Simply put, they are major label material and beat the living hell out of 90% of major-label artists. This CD is not perfect, but the band is just another reason that the Chicago music scene is thriving. The band could improve a bit lyrically, as they tend to fall into an overused category, but that is really the only weak element of the entire album. A Season In Hell is a great pickup for power-pop fans; just get out your dancing shoes beforehand.
Recommended to fans of Fall Out Boy, Cartel, and The Rocket Summer.