Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Sixth Ward

Listening to the debut EP by Allendale indie rockers The Sixth Ward makes me angry. Not through any fault of their own. Indeed, the album is as nigh close to perfect as you can get. I'm not even angry because singer/guitarist Bill Schlavis looks like a young Ben Affleck. No, I'm angry because 106.3 is now a Top 40 station when in their heyday any of the four songs on the album would have been perfect for the alternative rock format that they supported. Instead, we are forced to either *gasp* go out and see them live or find out about them through Facebook, Myspace and iTunes. Or my blog. *Shameless Plug*.

It's a shame, really, because The Sixth Ward is a band that really needs to be played on a radio station. It brings me back to the days when I was just starting to get into music and was excited about finding new bands to listen to like The Replacements and Dramarama, both bands that I used to play heavily in the Firebird when they came on the radio and I wanted to try and impress some girl on the side of the road with my choice in music. Sadly, it never worked, but this album does. It's a hard-rocking testament to a time when bands weren't trying to sound like someone else, they just sounded like themselves. Listening to the four tracks--"Alcohol", "No Sneakers", "Bowery & Bleecker" and "F.Scott"--is truly a treat and you can feel the pure energy and enthusiasm that the band members throw into their parts, merging to make a sound that's not only a nostalgia trip, but damn good as well.

I can honestly say that I am extremely happy I bought this album on iTunes and since I did, it's seen heavy rotation in my car on the way to and from work, blasting it through my speakers with the windows down and the roof open to give everyone around me a taste of something beautiful. The four tracks are lean and mean, making you beg for more. There is no need to separate the wheat from the chaff on this disc. It's all wheat, enough for Aunt May to keep this Peter Parker-ish dude in wheatcakes until the apocalypse. That's pretty fucking wheaty.

I love this EP. It's sent the Selena Gomez and the Scene cd into the glove box and will remain in the changer until I burn the sucker out. Or they come out with some more songs to sate my appetite for good music. Thankfully, we have those other venues online and we can hear about the good stuff like this if we keep our ears to the ground.

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