Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Black Sails, Western Shores- Half Way Home

Black Sails, Western Shores is a folk punk band that Death To False Hope picked up last year with one of the best albums of 2010- Half Way Home.
The first track, "This Modern Life," starts off fast and catchy with some of my favorite lyrics. I love Stephen Castro's voice- it reminds me a lot of Ryan Young from Off With Their Heads. It's a song most of us can relate to- that is, as long as you're angry, restless, and awesome. It transitions into "Sinners & Saints," a slower song with powerful words and a cool guitar line. Not one of my favorites, but not bad at all. It picks up the pace again with "Lullaby for the Working Class"- I have a weak spot for political songs about the working class of America, I can't lie. It includes a lot of underlying themes of the album- city life, depression, and the connection between people that actually do shit for a living. "We are the underpaid workers working our fingers to the bone, we are the fighting soliders that just wanna come back home."
"Hard Times" starts off strong with pop-punk-esque guitar lines and heavy cymbals. It keeps the depression but adds the frustration- it's an empowering song, I gotta say. "Now I'm standing straight without a trace of doubt... or fear on my face! We know that these hard times never last but we still have a long way to go." 
"Western Shores" starts off slow, primarily vocals, and quickly picks up the pace. "Safest Bet" is a good song, but it honestly doesn't have much that sticks out to me. It's a fast paced angry song about regret- you know, punx stuff. One of my favorite tracks on the album comes up next- "Hangover Radio." It's catchy, fun, has great lyrics, and mentions dancing. I like songs that mention dancing. (And fuzzy dinosaur lullabies, but I haven't come across that yet. Any takers?) Even if you don't take time to listen to the whole album, make time for this track. It's great. 
"Die We Must" and "Death in the Family" are both chill songs- they have the holy trinity: lyrics, variation, good music. I love the back-up vocals in "Death in the Family-" it's a super contrast to Castro's rough voice. First person to figure out who she is gets 10 points. The last track, "Bastard Sons," makes the whole album over 9000 times better. It's a fabulous acoustic song that's been on my iPod all week.  All the words strike a chord with me, and I bet they would with you too. They really finished off the album with a bang- a soft, emotional bang. 

-The Bear

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