Single and album-opener “Highways of Gold” makes the band’s roots fairly apparent. The mix of styles is evident to anyone who was familiar with Johnny Whitney’s, Cody Votolato’s, and J Clark’s previous bands, presenting itself as a friendlier Blood Brothers sound or a razor-edged Pretty Girls Make Graves one. The anthemic battle-cry “Jaguar Pirates” slices through the listener’s headset, though at times Whitney’s voice is almost comically high. On “Humans Evolve Into Skyscrapers” a snotty, scathing vocal delivery is cradled by electronic beats and gritty guitars that evolve briefly into a shiny, happy pop sound before descending back into the grime.
Other standouts on the album include “Georgia”, which begins as an organ-laced rock tune on which Whitney mercifully brings his voice down a few octaves to ask ‘Oh Georgia, can you feel my heart explode?’ before the track melds to become a pretty departure tinged with hints of The Cure and TV on the Radio, and the vaguely-50s-esque ballad “Bonetrees and a Broken Heart” which would make an excellent theme for any zombie prom.
Take Me to the Sea dropped 08/19/08.
Click the player below to hear “Highways of Gold” or click here to download.