Streetlight Manifesto - Somewhere In The Between Review
Original Author: Paul Coutts
Artist: Streetlight Manifesto
Album: Somewhere In The Between
Genre: Third wave-ska / Ska-punk
First of all, a little history about Streetlight Manifesto....Streetlight are a Ska band from New Jersey, primarily third wave Ska (fusion of Jamaican ska with British/American styles of music i.e - punk, 2 tone, hardcore, pop punk, etc...) Streetlight combine punk/ska guitars with grungy vocals, alto/baritone and tenor saxophone, bass, trombone, trumpet and drums. This is their third album, and definetly their most accomplished.
01. We Will Fall Together
02. Down, Down, Down to Mephisto's Cafe
03. Would You Be Impressed?
04. One Foot on the Gas, One Foot in the Grave
05. Watch It Crash
06. Somewhere in the Between
07. Forty Days
08. The Blonde Lead the Blind
09. The Receiving End of It All
10.What a Wicked Gang Are We
The sound on this album is absolutely fantastic. They incorporate all their instruments very well, and the CD is very well mixed, considering how many instruments are involved. The focus of this band is definetly the horn section, which is incredibly tight and they are extremely talented musicians. The horn line for the intro song of the album "We Will Fall Together" is incredible. Mixing staccato and legato lines. On every track, the melodies that the horns play are very impressive, and I can imagine this band being fantastic live.
The guitar work is impressive, if you listen to his rhythm work and consider he is singing also. The guitar functions as a harmony guide, primarly playing only chords in the ska fashion of picking on the up beat. There is a pretty impressive solo on "Would You Be Impressed?" But the biggest thing that you could probably learn from this album for guitarist, is CHORD PROGRESSIONS or CHORD FUNCTIONS, if you listen carefully. The bass is awesome on this record. He does a fantastic job of outlining the chords, and plays just like jazz musician would, but several times faster. I don't know too much about bass, but I know that this is some impressive work, as it is DEFINETLY more complex and interesting than your usual root note progressions.
Thomas Kalnoky did a really great job on the lyrics for this record. You can hear that his words are carefully chosen and structured for the song. Thomas is the primary songwriter for the band, and according to him, his greatest inspiration was the "Stand By Me" soundtrack. Lyrics vary from Scientology "Down, Down, Down To Mephisto's Cafe" to more references to Thomas's past with Catch 22 ("The Blonde Lead The Blind, refers to Giving Up, Giving In - Catch 22).
My overall impression is that Streetlight Manifesto gave their whole hearted effort on this album, and it shows. I honestly didn't think it possible to write an album that could be as good as Everything Went Numb, but they proved me wrong. Somewhere In Between is as good as, if not slightly better than Everything Went Numb, although their sound has definetly improved. All in all, this is a VERY solid record that I have enjoyed over and over again, and I always find new things I love about it because there is so much going on. Horns, chords, singing, lyrics, drumming. Everything is solidly put together without sounding cliche or overdone. For a band like this, there is really not much they could do to improve it. Do yourself a favour, and take a listen. Cheers
(Note: There was a video link on the original forum review, but it had already been removed from youtube by the time we creted this wiki article)