The 30th of February - Radio Friendly Sellout Songs
Record Label: None
Release Date: December 4, 2012
Every now and then, I cycle through the radio stations to see if there's something I can tolerate. Nine times out of ten, I get frustrated with society and the state of popular music, throw in a NOFX CD and vent about it. However, I had the pleasure of running across an hour long segment of all local music from my good ol' home state of Connecticut. This is good, because the scene here is really in dire need or some resuscitation. Anyway, one of the tracks that stood out the most amidst a sea of Shinedown and A Day to Remember clones was a song called "Sellout Star" by The 30th of February.
Admittedly no less of a clone of popular music than the others, at least they have some appeal in the fact that they did more to revive an older style of music than anyone else. They have a lot of energetic, fun, and catchy songs with enough nostalgic influence in 70's and 80's classic rock and alternative to overlook any of those moments where it sounds too similar to something else. The tracks vary in style, with "Sellout Star" displaying similarities to 70's classic rock bands such as Boston, The Who, and Deep Purple. The melody writing is a little weak and the vocals don't really draw much attention in such a low register, but the guitar work is skillful and makes the song easy to move to with its upbeat flow. The drums follow along smoothly, and the catchy solo is a great addition, even further reminding the listener of the classic rock influence.
Another track "Valentine's Day" makes a shift to alternative, complete with corny and poppy lyrics and an intro that shifts between clean guitar and pianos. It does pick right up though, delivering a punchy blast of power chords that starts to show off the band's more modern identity and influence. The catchy melody over the shifting guitars eventually lead into a very addicting guitar hook and bridge, making this a definite standout track.
The other "Fluke" is nothing special, more influenced in modern alternative and still showing off the band's individuality, but not quite standing out like the other two. Regardless of this and some honestly pathetic work with words (just look at that album name), this is still quite the impressive debut from such a small band. They've chosen very smart guitar hooks to give the listener an upbeat yet nostalgic feeling, smooth and catchy vocal melodies, and overall powerful song structures that create some really impressive songwriting that could hold its own with a lot of more popular alternative bands today. So to the people of Connecticut, keep your eyes on this band.