1. Hello, Jack 2. To Say They Hit It Off Would Be An Understatement 3. I Cant Stand To Fall 4. Another Name 5. The Difference 6. Back Down 7. Setting Off 8. Letter To The Editor 9. My Hippocratic Oath 10. Photosynthetic 11. Where To Start 12. The Terminal
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Now, if you aren't familiar with last year's EP, let me fill you in. To start off, Oh Snap--the rather punny title, taking into consideration the rhinoceros crushing the title on the cover--pretty much sets the tone for the EP. Their pop/punk style mixed with a few electro elements and crunchy guitars suits their quirky--and sometimes slightly cheesy--lyrics. Of course, it's evident that they do love God, and however odd their method of displaying that might be, they've done a good job of creating some honest music. They're without a doubt aiming at a younger audience, but that only makes their meaningful lyrics more impacting. For example, the line from their single: "Tear down these walls; I'd climb, but I can't stand to fall without You." It's a good, heartfelt lyric, and at the same time holds a quality that's just kind of childish. But that's not always a bad thing, right? Just look up Matthew 18:3. The simpleness of it might not satisfy those looking for deeper, more intriguing lyricism. But, songwriting aside, Philmont managed a fairly respectable pop/punk first effort. Songs like "The Difference" and "My Hippocratic Oath" hold Philmont's heavier guitars. "Photosynthetic" and "I Can't Stand to Fall" are the more punk sounding tracks, while a rather boring and anti-climactic ballad, "Another Name," parted the EP in two.
Those songs from the EP take up a good portion of the newer album, which fans of Oh Snap might be slightly disappointed about. But if they're fans of the EP, they'll find the full-length much to their liking, so that's not a huge issue. The first track, "Hello, Jack," is one of the heaviest songs on the album. Some fans will recognize it from before they were signed. It sounds identical, except for the screaming in the bridge which is a little bit quieter and harder to hear over vocalist Scott Taube's singing. The song talks about a plane crash and questions who's really in control of the flight. We know that nothing is out of God's control, and the song points that out very well. "To Say They Hit It Off Would Be An Understatement" gets a little boring, and uses a lot of synths, which kind of makes things sound even more juvenile. In fact, a good majority of the songs have a point or two where a dance beat or synths are introduced. It sounds good in spots, but I don't think it complements the punk style or should be a prominent factor in a lot of songs.
The song "Back Down," has something of a pre-chorus that says over and over, "Back down, get your back down, baby, tonight," and almost wrecks a very good song with the cheesiness of it. Other than that piece, it's one of the most fun songs on the album, whith a chorus which sings, "I'm growing tired of climbing higher. Your love is all I have to keep me strong. As I'm ascending, I feel You with me. You wait with outstretched arms in case I fall back down." "Setting Off" is one song that is a little bit more different from the rest, and stands out considerably among the newer set of songs ("The Difference" standing out the most, for me, on the EP). The lyrics are still not enough, but the song loses all electronic influences for the entire song, something that is very rare. The song is also very catchy and very hard to get out of your head once it's in there. "Letter to the Editor," the next song, works a lot better for Philmont than "Another Name" did on the EP. This is one point where the lyrics are a bit more grown-up, and you can tell they're sung passionately, just like the final song, "The Terminal."
So if there was one thing that would make Philmont a better band, it would be maturity. It's great that they're reaching out to younger kids, but what kids listen to nowadays could be anything. It's hard to deny that these guys do have great hearts for God, and I give them lots of credit for that. Maybe as they grow up as a band, their music will follow...