The highly anticipated debut album from Connecticut natives A Will Away features a variety of sounds infused into their unique style.
The opening song, lead single, and title track, “Here Again” stays true to their known sound, one of pop-punk style with rock elements. Drum and cymbal-heavy, the song features powerful lyrics from lead singer Matt Carlson.
The record uses Carlson’s lyrics as the basis of their sound. With honest words, the band tries to establish a connection and feeling of relatability with listeners and they do an excellent job of this.
At times, however, the lyrics feel a bit forced, as is the case with “Pay Raise.” It’s not one of the strongest tracks, but the relaxed vibe and smooth drumming are pleasant to listen to. Overall, the song feels a bit flat, as is the case with some of the other tracks.
“Agoraphobia” is one of my favorite tracks, where just the opposite is true. This song has some excellent lyrics and the vocals blend impeccably well with the tone of the instruments.
Despite this, none of the other songs feel as strong as this track. The sounds feel complaisant and generic, but Carlson’s vocals do provide some relief. He is quite talented, but unfortunately, the joining of the various components just doesn’t sit well with me.
The instrumentation is similarly done quite nicely; there’s no question the band is talented. I just feel that the combination of sounds feels too forced. While there are certainly strong aspects, most of the songs just sound like typical rock tracks.
“Better Reluctant” is one such example. There’s not a strong distinction in instrumentation, but the vocals are powerful.
Overall, I appreciate the effort of A Will Away with Here Again, but I think I was hoping for something a bit stronger. Don’t get me wrong, I think they are still a very solid band and honestly one of my favorites, but the style of this album just isn’t suited for my ears.
Favorite tracks: Here Again, Agoraphobia, Into the Light
Album release date: March 3, 2017
Written by: Kathryn Leeber