The Ringer Soundtrack - Wake Up World
Record Label: None
Release Date: Fall 2007
The Ringer Soundtrack are a modern rock band from Providence, Rhode Island. It's an interesting name for starters, considering there's already an album bearing that name. Remember the Johnny Knoxville movie? Same name. Why the band chose it, I'll never know. But that's mind over matter. Music and a message is what drives the band, and the prevailing sentiments that hover over this EP is this is a DIY band operating on a shoestring budget, and the members are both young and extremely talented. This is the kind of band that could write hit songs in their sleep. That being said, it takes a lot of patience and understanding to get into the disc.
For starters, the production quality is weak and the below average sonic quality detracts from the crispness of the band's message. In their defense, not every band is loaded with money and has Neal Avron on speed dial. What the band lacks in finances they make up for in substance. Led by an extremely confident, silky smooth vocalist, these boys from Little Rhody are lucky to have a frontman whose warm, inviting vocals wrap themselves over each song like a blanket. The vocals drive the album to elite status. This is not a desert island disc or a Top 10 album by any stretch, but it is an album that harnesses a desire for something greater. One listen to the lyrics reveals that. Almost every song paints a scene of driving fast, fleeing town and heading west. California, screeching tires, writing songs to win a girl's heart, all of it is clichéd and trite yet does so in a way that's engaging. Be it the meager production or the simple structure to the songs, there is an immediate connection that allows the listener to feel as if the songs are based on life experiences. No, these aren't the highest quality lyrics, but so what? A connection is felt.
At its core the music is radio based rock. Think The Last Goodnight or OneRepublic. If this stuff seems a bit too generic, give the band a shot regardless. Songs like "Your 9 to 5" and "California" have a sun splashed bounce that recalls both The Beach Boys and The Beatles. That's not to say these song are cut from the same cloth as "California Girls" or "Eleanor Rigby." There is a breeziness to this music that is authentic and familiar. There's finger snaps, there's acoustic guitar, a xylophonea, earnest pleading for attention, and Springsteen-esque themes of fleeing and hitting the road. What more could one ask for?