Disgusted with the summer 2006 heat and its corresponding soundtrack of Kelly Clarkson and Nick Lachey? Cooler times await with The October’s …bye bye beautiful [sparkgun records].
The October is a brave band that comes so close to being retro, yet doesn’t cross the line, managing to pull off all the best things about the 1980s electronic pop scene (think: The Church, Flock of Seagulls), without falling into throwback territory. In fact, don’t even think of them as a modern band implementing elements of the 80s. They’re more like a timeless 1980s band with that magic whatever-it-is to create music current and valid in any age.
If …bye bye beautiful‘s opening track “Through the Waves and Stars” doesn’t make you an instant fan, then just go back to your heavy metal or whatever the hell you’re into --you’re clearly not into great alternative pop. On this CD, lead singer Dustin Burnett (who also plays guitar, keyboards and piano) takes some vocal chances that pay off big time. Burnett thinks nothing of bravely (and skillfully) moving in and out of a falsetto while, guitar-wise, he and Ryan Cain have no problem creating whatever sound and expression they want with effects. If that means echo or the characteristic sound of analog delays over digital processors—they go for it, using the original equipment of yesteryear.
Whether you’re talking about “Sending Echoes,” “Gravity,” “M.I.A. (I will find you)” or any of the other strong songs on this twelve-track CD, each song is a new idea and not a regurgitation of the last good idea they had—the unfortunate trap of so many modern bands. Awesome production makes the record current and carries The October well into this century with the ideas of what sounds to use, how to use them, and what to put where. And while the heartfelt lyrics are sometimes a little difficult to discern when listening, you’ll find with the help of the CD jacket, they read with the rich, autumnal depth of poems by the crackling fire. Say hello to …bye bye beautiful, and throw another log on the fire. Who says it’s too hot outside for cool?
Available now on iTunes, and at www.theoctober.com