New Years Day - The Mechanical Heart EP
Record Label: Hollywood Waste
Release Date: June 21st, 2011
I consider myself a New Years Day fan, but I can't say I have ever really run into many people who would say the same thing - a fact that is not really surprising considering they haven't had any releases of note since their 2007 album My Dear. That changes with the release of their new EP The Mechanical Heart. After the release of My Dear, I would say New Years Day most closely compare to Paramore, but apparently a lot can change in 4 years.A s far as I can tell, since their last release, they have spent all their free time watching horror movies, hanging out in cemeteries, and listening to old AFI. Their fascination with the macabre is in full force on this new EP, and if you need any proof of that just look at the titles of the songs. Also, the lyrics are noticeably darker, and the music is closer to AFI than the pop-punk one might be expecting based on their previous efforts.
Technically there are 6 tracks on The Mechanical Heart, but there are really only 5 songs. "I, Machine," the first track, is basically an intro that I doubt many people will listen to more than a few times. Thankfully, that intro leads into "Resurrection" which has become my favorite song on the EP. It has a great chorus that flows back and forth between Ash Costello's lead vocals and the backing male vocals that draws you in, and gets stuck in your head. After first listening to the EP this is the song that I kept singing to myself.
The best thing New Years Day has going for it is vocalist Ash Costello. The girl can sing, there is no way of getting around it. The two best songs that showcase her vocal ability are "2 in the Chest, 1 in the Head" and "Let's Get Dead." Since she is a female singer in this scene people, will probably want to compare her to Hayley Williams. I personally think Ash Costello has a more powerful and refined voice. It's a treat to hear her belt out "I'm dead inside/You make me feel alive" when singing "2 in the Chest, 1 in the Head."
One of my favorite things about New Years Day is how many of their songs featured moments or verses that would get into my head and be stuck there for a few days. This is on display in "Murder" with the lyrics "I cross my heart/I hope you die." Some people might think that lyric is lame, but every time it comes up I can't help be sing along to it with a smile on my face.
The last track on the EP is "It's Alive." In this track Ash Costello sings about creating a monster. Now as much as the lyrics relate to creating a Frankenstein type monster, I am pretty sure the "monster" in question is actually a relationship. Either way you look at it, it's an effective song. It makes you think about what can come from the choices we make. At the end of the song, we figure out where the name of the EP came from, because it features sound effects of someone actually winding up a mechanical heart. So maybe this song is actually about a Frankenstein after all...
The Mechanical Heart came out after Ash Costello appeared on a William Control song, side project of Wil from Aiden, so many people have drawn comparisons between the two bands, but I am not an Aiden fan so I can't say how similar they are now. Regardless, in the end The Mechanical Heart does not feature as many great songs or moments as My Dear, but that has more to do with my positive feelings I still hold for My Dear than any negative feelings I might have towards The Mechanical Heart. I could see how the lyrics (most of them being about death, blood, etc.) might rub people the wrong way, but they didn't bother me too much. The last track features the sound of a mechanical heart being wound up to start beating, which represents what this EP is to this band. It is the start, the wind up, that will hopefully lead them to even better releases in the near future.
Nice to see this got posted to quickly.
I am long time AP.net user, but this is my first review, so if people could leave some critiques (and not just telling me that it sucks, lol), I would appreciate that. I know I could write a better review, but since this was my first I wasn't really sure how to approach or describe some stuff.
I've been in love with this band since 2007 and Ash has become a friend of mine. She is absolutely amazing and her vocal abilities amaze me every time she opens her mouth in song. This band has a lot of potential and I think this is a great indication of everything they have to offer :)