Pop rock has this way of clicking in my head. The sound is heavy enough for me to convince myself that it isn't shallow mainstream music, the lyrics are catchy but with substance and I can relate to a lot of it. In fact, The American Scene seems to have infiltrated my brain and snatched out all of my thoughts and feelings and thrown them into a pop rock album to be known as By Way Of Introduction.
They are classic pop rock- no fusion, just the clean, crisp sounds that you should be able to expect. The guitar work makes for splendid, fresh riffs and the drums back it up and add an extra element that makes the music more full bodied. Their vocalist is strong, they don't need to cover up his weaknesses with the music because he doesn't have any audible faults.
The title track “By Way Of Introduction” leads you into the album with the short, slow build up into something that reflects the genre perfectly. It is a short track (1.17) but a good start.
“Did You Hear About Your Friends In California” takes the time to make sure you indulge in the guilty lyrical pleasure pumping out things like-
“Everybody's only making up for lost time, making up for lost time,
Where I am stuck at the part where I can't figure out just what to do with mine,
But trust me there's no place I;d rather be than right here”
“Last Chapter Out Of Saigon” is one of my favourites on By Way Of Introduction because of the richness of the riff, and who can say no when the lyrics sum up what your are feeling?
“I think I'm almost fine,
For the first time in a long time,
I'm finding out why,
None of this makes sense.
When I was on my back,
I started picking up the slack,
That I let flow away,
Over the last 365 days.”
My least favourite song on The American Scene's debut is “Home.” This isn't because there is anything wrong with it, rather the other songs on the album are just so strong it feels lagging because it is merely “good.”
“Marty McFly, Nostradumus and I” picks up the slack that was made by “Home” with strong rock sounds and lyrics you will find yourself singing at the oddest of times.
“I remember being good at looking to the future,
And always burying my heart in places apart from where I lay my head”
“Killed Off In The Second Act” showcases the strong vocals backed up by those cheery rock melodies that frequent By Way Of Introduction.
“Another World Beater” has a heavier sound to it, leaning further on the bass lines and more prominent on the drumming.
The hands down best song on this album is “This Is Rebirth.” It slows things up, sounds fresh, and the lyrics top it off.
“You'll never be in love,
Like you were the first time,
You heard the first lines,
Of your favourite song.
And I've never been in love
Like I was on those late nights
On the long drives
That we spent growing up”
“A Million Minutes In The Making” ties off the album that is a stellar work.
The American Scene is not only kept me company for some of my nineteen hour train ride (next time I am flying...) but has wiggled its way into a regular playing on my iPod. Clean, new pop rock. Catchy, meaningful lyrics. Worth getting.