on May 13, 2012
I may be over-exaggerating when I say this, but this is perhaps the greatest album of all time, ever. Okay, okay. I said that about their last album, and their album before that, and the one before that; but this time I mean it. Well, maybe not, but I don't think I'd be lying if I said this was my favorite album of the year so far, and that's considering that Craig Finn and Lovedrug both released amazing albums this year. Of course, once The Gaslight Anthem releases their new album, I may have a challenger, but if you're looking for highly emotional, Southern rock-inspired, emo-influenced indie rock, you'd be hard pressed to beat Peoria's own. Everybody Left is everything that you expect from The Forecast, but to describe it in terms less ambiguous, it's like a mixture of Late Night Conversations with their self-titled album: a perfect balance of the catchy nature and simplicity of their last work, combined with the more traditional, rocking-out style of their earlier works. A prime example of this is the opening track, which is the title track, as well as the slower, acoustic-driven rocker, "Skipping Stones." Both bring to mind their last album, but would not have surprised me if heard on Late Night Conversation. One of the most unique songs on the album is "Figure It Out," co-written by the former Down to Earth Approach members Jonathon Lullo's and Dan Shepard's new band The Seams. Not that it sounds completely different. Frankly, when I first heard The Seams, I thought they sounded like The Forecast, but this song sounds like something slightly different than what I'm used to hearing by The Forecast. Although, the other song co-written by The Seams--"Last Stand"--sounds very much like a Forecast song. In short though, I have nothing but good things to say about this album, just like everything else I've heard by this band. I'd recommend it for fans of Tom Petty, The Get Up Kids, Lifetime, Bruce Springsteen, The Hold Steady, or the Gaslight Anthem. Recommended songs: the entire album. Okay, well, if you have to twist my arm--"Clear Eyes, Full Heart," "Way We Were," "Everybody Left," and "Figure It Out." And, of course, let me leave you with this bit of advice: drink whisky while listening to this band. It can only enhance the experience. As they say, "If the whisky's dead, you're next."