I got this album because I am a big fan of Fountains of Wayne and I found out that School for the Dead shares members with The Gay Potatoes (Fountains of Wayne side-project). Then I found out that a few of these guys have also played with Chris Collingwood in some of his "solo" shows. THEN I found the quote by Chris describing them. I figured, if one of my favorite songwriters praises Henning Ohlenbusch of School for the Dead as one of his own favorite songwriters, it's got to be pretty good.
And it is. There's something about these songs and the way they are sung and played that just makes you want to be friends with the guys in this band. They're smart, funny, and also heartbreaking - just how I like `em.
This is the kind of treasure that you find on your own. You won't see School for the Dead on TV or hear them on the radio and because of that, the songs become yours. It is a great thing, especially since you'll find yourself singing them over and over again wherever you are.
I highly recommend this album If you are a fan of Fountains of Wayne, They Might Be Giants, The Shins, The Cure, The Beatles, or any other great pop bands with unavoidably catchy and moving songs.
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Turning twenty-four was a sad day for me. Everything I ever loved and thought I would become scurried into the murky grey unreachable crevices of the past. It became a matter of fact that stretches of carefree, breezy New England summer days were lost in the flotsam of industry and responsibility. The slow and dreadful knocking at the crumbling door of my own mortality rang through my ears. Then I listened to School for the Dead's "The New You" and felt much better. Once you listen to this album Henning Ohlenbusch's friendly voice will punctuate your inner monologues forever. Some of the songs will make you happy in the way that simple things like camping and photo-booths do. And then some of the songs will make you quite sad because you remember the way something once was, but never will be again.
Not to sound hokey or anything, but there's something uniting everyone on this big old messed up planet...maybe it's just how we all feel the fragility of human existence. Whatever it is, some people feel it more than others. So, here it is, with mind-bogglingly clever arrangements and a collection of such supremely talented musicians, you'll start to wonder why you haven't heard of them before.
Someday someone should write a movie around these songs.
"The New You" is a thirteen track disc from the Northampton, MA group School For the Dead. Whilst most bands claim to have a member that serves as a secret weapon to create dynamics or enhance their sound, SFTD leader Henning Ohlenbusch has four secret weapons to accompany his well crafted, melodic pop tunes. Shall I explain?
Brian Marchese is the drummer extraordinaire. He has a 1960's bounce to his beat and isn't afraid to bust into a huge thundering roll when an explosion is needed (see the climax in "Candy Cane"). Anthony Westcott plays the lead guitar and adds the extra hook at all the appropriate times. His guitar lines are so interesting that they could stand up as excellent melodies on their own (ex: "Something's Taking Over", "Rock and Roll Camper" & "Goodnight"). Plus there's the famous Max Germer. His bass lines are tasteful and rhythmically intriguing. Ken Maiuri plays the keyboards and throws in some extra flair, droney ethereal tones and brilliant runs.
Like I said, that Henning guy writes the songs. The songs that appear on "The New You" are fantastic. His other ones are, too, but you'll just have to wait for the next release! After you pop in this disc the first time, you'll ask yourself "why haven't I heard this band before?" After you settle down a bit, you'll think about how the lyrics are smarter than your seventh grade math teacher, the melodies are sweeter than cupcakes and the textures to all the songs are perfect. I mean it. This a perfect record. Would you like to hear more?
The album balances fast indie-pop songs with reflective acoustic numbers with subjects embodying love, lost love, the outdoors (notice two song titles dealing with camping), etc.Read more ›
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