Review: Abandon Kansas – “Alligator”

Abandon Kansas is set to release their new album Alligator on May 12th through BC Music. Alligator is the band’s third studio album and is available for pre-order at abandonkansaslovesyou.com. http://badchristian.com/music/

Jeremy Spring and Nick Patrick wrote this album from a distance, one set up in Nashville and the other in Kansas.

An album like Alligator  is a rare find; so honest in it’s rawness and realness, but so darn catchy and fun. Abandon Kansas lays it all on the table, bringing us to the darker places without being a downer.

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“Mirror” is an aptly titled, slow, fuzzed out track, with smooth vocals and electronic elements. Mid-song, the warm vocals open up into heart wrenching, throat straining shouts. An amazing bare-it-all first look at this album, and at this moment I knew that I was going to like what was to follow. In the final seconds of the track we are left with the spoken words, “I can’t help but thinking/ at some point it doesn’t matter/ and God can sweep the rug out from underneath you whenever He wants”

The title track, “Alligator,” opens on a sombre note; “I live a life, of unhealed pain.” With piano accents, this is a fairly upbeat, but again, emotional ride.

“I Hope God Don’t Mind If We Talk Awhiles” is a busy, engaging song, with a serious hook and a real nice bass tone. This is a great example of the overall feel of the album.

“Baby Please” is a catchy pop rock song about being frustrated with the silent treatment: that superpower women have that most dudes are afraid of. One of the more energetic tracks, it bursts open and feels like a room full of musicians, playing like a Kings Kaleidoscope track; huge and anthemic.  “Baby Please” slips into an unexpected dreamy bridge with a bouncy, almost carnival like, bass.

“Anniversary” is a slower tempo, piano driven track. An absolutely beautiful but tragic song. With Brianna Gaither supplying gorgeous female vocals, “Anniversary” sees both sides in lament of an expired relationship: “here’s to the end/ here’s to the end of you and me. A toast to all the memories that haunt me and my dreams.” An unforgettable song you must come back to.

“Get Clean”  opens with a voicemail clip, and then overlapping  samples mixed into the music (a bit of a The Avalanches vibe for a second). It’s an honest look at addictions and a desire to kick them: “I poison my blood/ there’s dirt in my lungs/ I wanna get clean.” I love the creativity of this band  and how they can pull off cool things like the way they incorporating a bit of western saloon style piano into this song and make it come across completely natural.

“Shadows” is one of the more straight-ahead rock n roll songs, building and building in power.. until the drumsticks hit the floor.

“What You Meant” is an indie rocker with some outdoor traffic noise in the background. It plays like an acoustic singer-songwriter type song, with some more of my favourite lyrics from the album: “I slept through your sermons/ you slept in torment/ faithful in your calling/ some members came and went/ you can fix anything/ but you couldn’t fix the cancer/ you lost your parents/ no one had the answer/ I expected sorrow”  and I was left with this line resonating: “all I heard was silence/ and I knew what you meant ”

“You Oughta Know” is a gentle reminder of the truth, “You oughta know by now/ only love will make you whole/ only God can save your soul.” It’s a laid-back rocker with a celebratory feel.

From the very start of  “One Foot in the Grave,” you know it’s something special: a host of background vocals, the bass dips in, Spring’s hypnotic vocals, and a huge, catchy chorus. “One Foot in the Grave”  is about reliance on screens and wasting your life. Although it hits a little close to home, I love the line, “if I can reach the cord there’s no reason to leave the bed.”  A favourite of mine, and a killer close to the album.

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Alligator is ten tracks of solid catchy rock with a strong pop sense. Abandon Kansas tears out its heart, lets it beat and bleed, while keeping our heads bobbing.  Alligator is an entertaining and cathartic ride from start to finish

deadspacepodcast.com

Visit Deadspace podcast to pre-order, check out Abandon Kansas on Facebook, and hit up  badchristian.com/music

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