AbsolutePunk.net
   Username
Password
 
Album Review
 
Streetlight Manifesto - Somewhere In The... Album Cover

Streetlight Manifesto - Somewhere In The...

Reviewed by
7.4
Streetlight Manifesto – Somewhere In The Between
Record Label: Victory Records
Release Date: November 13th 2007


With every new year, promises are made in the form of resolutions. Many of these are honored while many are abandoned in favor of habit. It’s not always a bad thing; after all, sometimes those habits are in place because they are convenient or proven formulas. Much like this custom, the most recent (and long awaited follow up) release from Streetlight Manifesto strays from the promise of Middle Eastern influence for a more tested method that doesn’t wander too far off the beaten path fans of the band meander patiently on. In the process, the band has created some of their most catchy moments as well as some tracks that could be better left off. Either way, Streetlight Manifesto is back with a point to prove to those who forgot about one of the strongest ska acts around.

To be honest, I haven’t been impressed by a ska album in years. It’s not exactly that I am against it, it’s more that I feel the genre reached a peak with Catch 22’s Keasby Nights. That being said, what better person to reel me back into the genre than the man who composed the ska masterpiece? Tomas Kalnoky has not lost an ounce of the fervent energy that penetrated the most addictive songs on that album and luckily, a lot of that charisma has translated extremely well to the sophomore release of his other punk rock outfit. As stated previously, there is not too much different from their last release (or even Keasby Nights) on the most fundamental of levels. Kalnoky’s rapid-fire lyrical delivery is still in tact. The rasp in his voice has matured a little but has lost none of the endearing nature that manages to come across as warm and harsh at the same time. One of the distinguishing characteristics of his front man status is his ability to craft incredibly infectious melodies. Look no further than “Down Down Down To Mephisto’s Café” for an example of this talent. The track is classic ska (it’s also the best track on the album). Syncopated rhythmic guitar twangs, a great horn section and the most tasteful use of gang vocals since well….ever make this track a must listen for anyone even remotely interested in Kalnoky’s old work. Listening to the song brought me back to the high school hey day of ska and reminded me why I thought the music was so fun in the first place. On the same note, “We Will Fall Together” is just as catchy containing many memorable sections and straight up fun moments that are worthy of a listen.

Unfortunately, not every song on the album is up to the standards set by the opening two tracks. Some of the slower moments that follow make the album lose the momentum it was building. It’s not that the experimentation isn’t appreciated; it just does not sound as strong as the other material. One of the things you can count on when listening to an album like this upbeat melodies so when a slower number comes along, it’s like a lull in the action movie rather than the calm before the storm. What is upsetting about these moments is that generally the parts that follow are great, so half of the song ends up being excellent but it just takes a while to get there. There is not one song on the album that doesn’t contain at least one incredibly fun part, which makes the filler sections stick out that much more. By the end of the album, it picks up the pace again, delivering a few more memorable tracks, which save it from becoming just another ska album

The album is by no means bad. In fact it is the most entertaining ska album I have heard in quite some time. The problem lies with the fact that it has so much more potential and after 4 years of waiting, it does not live fully up to expectations. I wanted to be knocked on my ass, but instead I just got gently pushed down onto it. And what about the promises of Middle Eastern influence? It could have added a lot of potentially interesting moments when mixed with Kalnoky’s penchant for pop sensibility. Ah well, what is delivered manages to be fun at times and if taken as such, can be a rewarding listen when in the mood for such a sound. Much like the resolutions, the desire for change from Streetlight almost always falls back to the patterns previously set forth, luckily for them, they are some of the best at what they do.

Tracklisting1. We Will Fall Together
2. Down Down Down To Mephisto’s Café
3. Would You Be Impressed
4. One Foot On The Gas, One Foot In The Grave
5. Watch It Crash
6. Somewhere In The Between
7. Forty Days
8. The Blonde Lead The Blind
9. The Receiving End Of It All
10. What A Wicked Gang Are We
Listen to Streetlight ManifestoAP.net Profile | Myspace | Purevolume
This review is a user submitted review from Tom Good. You can see all of Tom Good's submitted reviews here.
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 47
08:37 PM on 01/06/08
#2
Skate punker
Registered User
Offline
User Info.
Skate punker's Avatar
saw them live not to long ago with LTJ and RBF, they were really good
08:50 PM on 01/06/08
#3
Tom Good
Album Reviewer
Offline
User Info.
Tom Good's Avatar
saw them live not to long ago with LTJ and RBF, they were really good
Yeah, they are still one of the bands I have to catch live. I hear they are a good time.
10:26 PM on 01/06/08
#4
lauren<3s music
i am a slippery slope
Offline
User Info.
lauren<3s music's Avatar
amazing review as usual. i may wait to pick this up based on the filler comments..
10:53 PM on 01/06/08
#5
llmp
Incorrigality
Offline
User Info.
llmp's Avatar
Yeah, they are still one of the bands I have to catch live. I hear they are a good time.

What do you think of this album in comparison to their last one?
04:56 AM on 01/07/08
#6
Tom Good
Album Reviewer
Offline
User Info.
Tom Good's Avatar
What do you think of this album in comparison to their last one?
If you like Ska, definitely check it out. As compared to their last album, I think it's got parts that are better and parts that are worse. I'd say the songwriting is tighter and the production is better. But the old one had a certain allure about it. It's really pretty close either way.
05:38 AM on 01/07/08
#7
TBSowns524
can't handle The Truth
Offline
User Info.
TBSowns524's Avatar
good review, but i think the score should be higher and i dont think there is as much filler as you let on
06:02 AM on 01/07/08
#8
decrescendo27
www.KillLincolnDC.com
Offline
User Info.
decrescendo27's Avatar
this album is one of the best albums I've ever heard and I loved this band since before their first album came out

but

I have to admit I was expecting a little more too even though this album is still better than every other album I've heard in recent memory

The Receiving End Of It All - favorite song on the album
07:30 AM on 01/07/08
#9
LikeACat
Offline
User Info.
No Avatar Selected
Wow

For once I think I agree with everything said in a staff review and that is something I thought I'd never see.

This is a great ska album but taking all things into account, this should/could of been a better album.

But I'm no ska expert, I only like these guys along with leftover crack and some others.
08:12 AM on 01/07/08
decrescendo27
www.KillLincolnDC.com
Offline
User Info.
decrescendo27's Avatar
Wow

For once I think I agree with everything said in a staff review and that is something I thought I'd never see.

This is a great ska album but taking all things into account, this should/could of been a better album.

But I'm no ska expert, I only like these guys along with leftover crack and some others.

haha I dig me some LOC

good band
08:33 AM on 01/07/08
LikeACat
Offline
User Info.
No Avatar Selected
haha I dig me some LOC

good band

They help fuel my hate for the cops.

Oh and how could I forgot CHOKING VICTIM, they were what got me into ska.
08:39 AM on 01/07/08
TBSowns524
can't handle The Truth
Offline
User Info.
TBSowns524's Avatar
this album is one of the best albums I've ever heard

but

I have to admit I was expecting a little more too even though this album is still better than every other album I've heard in recent memory

The Receiving End Of It All - favorite song on the album

i second everything you said above
09:55 AM on 01/07/08
sillychicken
Registered User
Offline
User Info.
sillychicken's Avatar
I agree that this has been one of the better ska albums that came out recently. I wonder if there will be a fourth wave of ska and who will head it now that LTJ and RBF and I guess No Doubt are kinda on their last legs now, and No Doubt has died.
09:57 AM on 01/07/08
OCNickLTJ13
...takes it on the chin.
Offline
User Info.
OCNickLTJ13's Avatar
I don’t mean to insinuate anything about Tom Good’s credibility as a reviewer, but it always gives me pause when a reviewer only comments on the first few songs. I can understand if Mr. Good believes that this album is front-loaded, however, he doesn’t really let us know which of the rest of the tracks are “filler,” so it is hard to draw the conclusion that he really explored this album in any meaningful way. We are left to assume that the rest of the album is “filler,” and I generally believe that, quite possibly, Mr. Good hadn’t really listened to much of the rest of the album more than once or twice. Now, I understand that this is common practice amongst music reviewers, and respected columnist Chuck Klosterman has said as much in numerous articles and essays, however, ska music is more nuanced that straightforward rock, pop or emo. Therefore, a reviewer needs to take much more than a cursory listen to actually come to any worthwhile conclusion on the album. I think that if Mr. Good would have listened further he would have concluded that track #9, ‘The Receiving End of It All,’ was the best track on the record, and that after several listens, he wouldn’t have been so apt to conclude that much of the record is filler. This is a very good album, my only complaint is that, in comparison to ‘Everything Goes Numb,’ these tracks are shorter, which is why I generally believe that EGN is a better album than ‘Keasby Nights,’ even though KN has much more sentimental value to most (me included). Also, I’d caution Mr. Good in making conclusions based on something the band, apparently, said in an interview in regard to a “Middle Eastern influence.” I remember a while back when Alkaline Trio made a similar outlandish claim about how their new record was going to have a (I think) dance influence. The things that artists say aren’t really ever a good indicator about how the album will actually sound, and sometimes, these influences are more about very musical things that most of us don’t understand, maybe this album does have a Middle Eastern influence, but it’s found in the syncopation or the melody and we won’t really hear it. That said, maybe they dropped it all together because it sounded bad. I don’t know. I would say that you should buy this album!
10:54 AM on 01/07/08
Tom Good
Album Reviewer
Offline
User Info.
Tom Good's Avatar
I don’t mean to insinuate anything about Tom Good’s credibility as a reviewer, but it always gives me pause when a reviewer only comments on the first few songs. I can understand if Mr. Good believes that this album is front-loaded, however, he doesn’t really let us know which of the rest of the tracks are “filler,” so it is hard to draw the conclusion that he really explored this album in any meaningful way. We are left to assume that the rest of the album is “filler,” and I generally believe that, quite possibly, Mr. Good hadn’t really listened to much of the rest of the album more than once or twice. Now, I understand that this is common practice amongst music reviewers, and respected columnist Chuck Klosterman has said as much in numerous articles and essays, however, ska music is more nuanced that straightforward rock, pop or emo. Therefore, a reviewer needs to take much more than a cursory listen to actually come to any worthwhile conclusion on the album. I think that if Mr. Good would have listened further he would have concluded that track #9, ‘The Receiving End of It All,’ was the best track on the record, and that after several listens, he wouldn’t have been so apt to conclude that much of the record is filler. This is a very good album, my only complaint is that, in comparison to ‘Everything Goes Numb,’ these tracks are shorter, which is why I generally believe that EGN is a better album than ‘Keasby Nights,’ even though KN has much more sentimental value to most (me included). Also, I’d caution Mr. Good in making conclusions based on something the band, apparently, said in an interview in regard to a “Middle Eastern influence.” I remember a while back when Alkaline Trio made a similar outlandish claim about how their new record was going to have a (I think) dance influence. The things that artists say aren’t really ever a good indicator about how the album will actually sound, and sometimes, these influences are more about very musical things that most of us don’t understand, maybe this album does have a Middle Eastern influence, but it’s found in the syncopation or the melody and we won’t really hear it. That said, maybe they dropped it all together because it sounded bad. I don’t know. I would say that you should buy this album!

I'm at work right now so I don't have time to write a long response (I'll reply in full when I get home). But to say I didn't listen to an album I reviewed based on those accusations above is ridiculous. I bought it the day it came out and have listened to it many times in full just as I do any album that I plan to review. Don't make bold accusations because you don't agree with an opinion.

NEWS, MUSIC & MORE
Search News
Release Dates
Exclusives
Best New Music
Articles
CONNECT
Submit News
Forums
Contests
Mobile Version
AP.net Logos
HIDDEN TREASURES
AbsolutePunk Podcast
Free Music
Sports Forum
Technology Forum
Recommendations
INFORMATION
Advertising
Contact Us
Copyright Policy
Terms of Service
Privacy Policy
FOLLOW
Twitter | Facebook | RSS
AP.net Podcast on iTunes
UnderTheGun
Purevolume
Chorus.fm | @jason_tate