White Picket Fence - Clocks and Calendars
Record Label: None
Release Date : June 6th, 2009
These days it's difficult for a band fronted by a girl to not be shrugged off as "another Paramore". When opening White Picket Fence's album Clocks and Calendars, I didn't know what to expect exactly. Paramore 2.0? Another band for AP.net members to complain about milking the Paramore cow? I was wrong.
The New York based band pleased me greatly from what was coming out of the headphones. Filled with clean and weak sounding (in a good way!) guitars, high vocals with great bass and drum beats, White Picket Fence is a great band. And this is a great album. The weak guitar sounds give the songs character, along with vulnerability. The only album I can compare the sound to would be Taking Back Sunday's first release Tell All Your Friends. As each song was open and felt inviting to know how the song feels, so do these.
Beginning the record, "My Love and Limbs" starts off as an at-first-thought instrumental track that eventually becomes vocalized. Soon, that sound is barely revisited as the band is driven by singer Elise Miklich's vocals. A lot of the songs have a jazzy hook feel to them, which is entirely new to this scene, but each song has a great pop hook, as well. The melodies compliment the music and they grow off of each other. It reminds me of how Karen O (of Yeah Yeah Yeahs fame) carries her songs heavily with the music, not against.
The second half of this album is what makes it shine. A song like "Artwork Arms" can easily be a mixtape staple, with the pop feel and the dance beat, all packed with a singalong chorus and handclaps. Basically, it's the recipe for a crowd favorite. The songs that follow are as good or better than the one previous. The title track is a greater closer, making the listener want more of what was given to them in just a short period, making for a flawless second half.
Despite how much I enjoy this album, I feel like White Picket Fence has yet to break out. I get the feeling like they can really write and record a great album that can be a favorite for many. I'm positive there's much more potential than they lead on here, and I can't wait for a follow up.
Thanks to WPF, (Triple Crown-inked) Honor Bright, The Brilliant Light, Fazeshift, The Scarlet Ending, Merrimac and some other talented bands, the hometown of Earth Crisis is becoming known for more than just hardcore.