Artist: Searching For Sylvia
Track: The Ladder from the EP The Ladder
Genre: Power Pop / Alt. Rock / Americana
Searching For Sylvia are an extremely talented and impressive group hailing from Rotherham, UK; not an overly glamorous base for the band having the rather dubious distinction of being one of the most deprived areas in the north of England, despite this the music generated from this part of the UK is delightfully positive and full of spark, associated with artists such as Joe Cocker, Def Leppard, Human League and other artists respectfully. The Alternative Rock / Americana style band echoes such acts such as Big Star, The Gin Blossoms, Teenage Fanclub and newer influences alike. The group consists of members; Pete Sheldon playing Guitars and Lead Vocals, Andy Hartley on Bass and Vocals, Ian Higginbottom on Guitar and also on Vocals, Keith Lund on Drums and Chris Copper- Percussion; this current line-up was cemented after years of individual struggle with their own various project, they developed a vehicle and form to combine and perform their vast collection of songs and with this line-up the band have progressed enormously with their sound and style. Their many years of relentless gigging is beginning to pay dividends as they’re honing in on the specific sound they wish to create musically.
‘The Ladder’ is the opening track from Searching For Sylvia’s very first EP with the same name released in May 2011 recorded with producer Steve Ellis at Orion Studios in their home town of Rotherham. The introduction of this track is an impressive opening into the unique world of Searching For Sylvia with an instantaneously catchy lead guitar riff and a tasty hook, making for a dazzling intro from this British quintet. The instrumentation is infectious and potent leading to a perfect start to ‘The Ladder’ creating Rock with a melodic overcoat of Power Pop with an edge of Ballsy Americana. After this dazzling introductory riff the lead vocals are introduced with Pete Sheldon’s powerful voice and the backing vocals of Andy Hartley and Ian Higginbottom creating a strongly compelling layered vocal line forming an interesting edge. The Ladder’s exceedingly intelligent and polished lyrics begin with the lines; ‘Always said you had no fear, even first when the water’s not that clear. When you looked like going down, you always find a friend to bring you back around.’
The lyrics and vocal tone are striking and the prominent spark and talent that shines throughout the track with enticing lines and phrases fitting perfectly with the melodic tone of the voice, however after about the first minute or so it does becomes quite repetitive and relatively monotone, thinking with retrospect of the introduction of ‘The Ladder’. The song is conveyed like a rough diamond, there just needs to be some tweaks and improvements to perfect the composition and to achieve the full potential of the track; slight adjustments need to be made to the tempo and to the speed of the actual track with different timing changes being introduced to encapsulate the listener to a deeper degree, because as ‘The Ladder’ continues the whole structure becomes quite dull and instantly makes the listener disinterested, due to the track seemingly continuing on the same musical level, there desperately needs to be a huge injection of exuberance and energy, as atmospherically the track isn’t overly thrilling or innovative, becoming a huge drawback to ‘The Ladder’, as this Rotherham quintet need more drive and excitement to thrive and shine through each and every note to entice and enthral the audience even more so, otherwise the group get lost amongst the many other Americana styled and inspired musicians mimicking that typical Americana sound and fail to convey any fresh and innovatively inspiring music.
Searching For Sylvia are evidently a talented British group with depth and maturity, more specifically within the lyrics as they hone in impeccably with the art of song writing, a joy that is configured throughout the track, creating a mixture of classic guitar music joining forces with the lyrically thoughtful and original phrases. Although ‘The Ladder’ does become quite lacklustre as it endures, an aspect I was extremely disappointed to encounter, despite this fact they produce exceedingly tight instrumentation with notable influences across a wide spectrum of music and genres, noticeably heard throughout the entirety of the track itself and The Ladder EP; essentially including eclectic guitar-driven Americana Rock with true Pop sensibilities. The fundamentals of the track are relatively positive, it basically needs slight polishing as they need to continue to define their brand of honest and catchy Alternative Rock Americana / Power Pop.
Similar Artists: Big Star, Gigolo Aunts, The Gin Blossoms, Teenage Fanclub, Be-Bop Deluxe.
Track: Nearly Perfect Strangers
Produced and Written By: Addison
Genre: Power Pop / Punk / Emo
Addison is a Power Pop / Emo punk band originating from Pittsburgh, PA, USA, consisting of members; Bobby Gerginski on Vocals, Matt Dulac on Guitar and Vocals, Kyle Shearer also on Guitar and Vocals, John O’hallaron on Bass and finally Rich Bradford on Drums. They purely began writing and performing music to have something fun and interesting to do at the weekend, although it has grown far further than they could have imagined. The talented five piece developed a local following of fans with their incredible hit song ‘Winds Of The Eastern Shoreline’ and soon rose in the music ranks, having an ever increasing effect on music lovers in the US, the guys have also been lucky enough to have shared the stage with such artists as: Forever the Sickest Kids, Four Letter Lie, 13 Yards to Victory, Scenes From a Movie and many other bands alike. Addison is evidently a band who tirelessly dedicates their time to make brilliantly distinctive music with dynamic tracks making for exciting listening.
‘Nearly Perfect Strangers’ is a delightful track featuring on Addison’s debut self-titled album, a song that is a perfect introduction into the music and world of Addison. The track starts off wonderfully with a phenomenal introductory guitar riff, instantly encapsulating every element a true pop punk / rock band should include into their music, with Bobby Gerginski’s distinctively tantalising vocals setting in at the 30 second mark with good vocal tone and developing marvellous dynamics throughout the entirety of the track, creating an instantaneous captivation to the music, with the opening lyric; ‘Get up we’ll start the let-down, if the nights almost over, you won’t be asking for me anymore’; an excellently intriguing beginning for ‘Nearly Perfect Strangers’. Overall the vocals are impressive, however they could certainly be more powerful in specific areas of the track, especially with the bridge and the lead up to the main chorus, there’s a much needed expansion to the tone of the vocals and the five piece should definitely work on the multitude of layers within the track throughout to make everything sit much more naturally together and within the various other elements of the music itself, though overall there’s a wonderful basis of a track, with extremely tight instrumentation, it just needs some tweaking and improvements to develop into a more polished piece of music.
Addison develop the track with an exponential amount of energy and punch, making it a thrilling ride from start to finish with intriguing and intelligent lyrics and an instantly catchy chorus due to the magnificent lyrics with such tremendous emotional potency it’s evident the five piece are drawing from their very own personal experiences which are then excellently conveyed and portrayed within the lyrics, rendering a stronger connection to the listeners, as they sing of lost love with passion and poignancy, evidently produced within the line ‘3 years and nothing but a scar to show’; conveying beautiful expressiveness, showcasing what incredible lyricists Addison are. ‘Nearly Perfect Strangers’ continues to be an electrifying pleasure with fantastic chomp and thump from the exceptionally talented Rich Bradford on the drums. Nearing the latter part of the track it undertakes a different direction, with echoing overshadows beneath the lyrics with the repetition of the chorus, this introduces a wonderfully interesting dynamic to the composition and is produced perfectly, with the great amount of reverb and distortion working amazingly, giving a whole other dimension to the track, then the layers of the track are reintroduced with even greater punch and grit than before incorporating alongside a dazzlingly heavy guitar riff finishing the whole of the song off in perfect fashion.
Addison create a distinctively encapsulating piece of music in the form of ‘Nearly Perfect Strangers’, lyrically, they are truly incredible with eloquent and poignant lines within the track, there are various elements which are wonderful with irresistibly catchy riffs and lyrics, though it still lacks some excitement as the music needs more dedication to it as a whole to develop their sound into something faultless and innovative and improve their music to the degree which they are evidently able to achieve, as it’s obvious that this American five piece are a naturally talented group of musicians, who could do wonders with their unique sound and style and with slight improvement Addison should definitely achieve the recognition they truly deserve for their music.
Similar Artists: The Jumpsuit Apparatas, New Found Glory, Gatsby’s American Dream.