Abandon Kansas - We're All Going Somewhere EP
Record Label: Gotee Records
Release Date: Sept. 8, 2009
Abandon Kansas is a Wichita quartet signed to Gotee Records. The six-song EP We're All Going Somewhere is their sixth release, their debut offering on Gotee and was produced by Mark Lee Townsend (Deas Vail, Relient K, House of Heroes). To date the band has logged 300+ tour dates per year and has won over fans with an energetic live show. They have shared the stage with The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, As Cities Burn and The Classic Crime, to name but a few.
How is it?
Absolutely terrific. Bristling with poise, polish and passion, the six-song treat is bursting with radio-ready hooks and chart-topping cheekiness. Album opener "The Harder They Fall," is a snappy, full-throttle rocker that leaps from the speakers. Mid-tempo second track, "I Wonder If Its Me" remarks on traveling the country and the rigors of touring, anchored by the lines, "Country kids want the city, city kids want the trees." The EPs fourth song and title track "We're All Going Somewhere" just might be its best. Punchy, passionate and bombastic, "We're All Going Somewhere," is an absolute knockout and the kind of song A and R reps dream about. From there the album continues in much the same formula, kicking with fiery drums, urgent guitars and vocalist Spring''s near perfect crooning. Of the album's last two offerings, the more memorable is closer "Close Your Eyes," whose horribly boring title is actually a misnomer for a rather engaging song.
Lyrically the band isn't exactly treading new ground. On "Make Believe," Spring sings, "I could use two lives/think of the things that we could get done/having two lives would be so much better than one/one for the things I have to do, one for the things I really want to," and while it's a nice concept it isn't exactly the stuff of legends. Being that the group is a Christian outfit, the lyrics at times do give way to mentions of Christ, God and You, but the group seem to do so in a way that isn't alienating, preachy or effusive.
If the band has a strength it is most definitely the vocals of Jeremy Spring, who sounds like an undeniable mix of Jonathan Foreman and Isaac Slade. Ripe with maturity, presence and swagger, Spring sings with conviction, clarity and crystalline efficiency. That this is the band's strength is also why the EP is also somewhat disappointing. Never once does the album slow down or yield to a ballad. Never once does Abandon Kansas display their diversity, show off their range or better yet let Spring's vocals use their lower register or showcase its tenderness. While there are a few moments during various verses where Spring has a few moments of deviation, there's never a prolonged sense of placidity or calm.
That being said, We're All Going Somewhere is a tremendous release from a band that seems almost certain to have their songs played on radio stations. We're All Going Somewhere is a truly terrific effort from a truly terrific band.