Saturday, September 17, 2011

Banquets- Top Button, Bottom Shelf

To be honest, I have been sitting on this album for quite some time now. They have been frequenting my playlist but I just haven't written them up. I say this because with many Ripple submissions, I listen to the album four or five times then they get forgotten about until I am looking for something else to listen to. Banquets have been rolling around my eardrums for a few weeks now.

Top Button, Bottom Shelf is a really strong album produced by a really strong band. The music is “punk” and flows and operates wonderfully. I don't need to say that the vocals “match” the music (although they do), because they themselves are independent and work. The lyrics are punk, they have that “f- you” thing going on.

It starts with a short opening song, “377” which introduces you to the sounds that the album are going to contain. It has a long introduction, and ends suddenly but the middle part is where the magic happens with fancy guitar work (better is to come!) and kick arse lyrics.

“I've burned so many bridges,
I can barely count
Moving forward with a liars mouth,
I am getting back what's due to me.”

“Just Me And My Canesco Rookie Card” is the first true sign that you could air-instrument to this on a slow morning. Parts of the song have breaks in vocals specially designed to have heavy guitar-drum work in there. Fun.

Skipping over a few songs, to talk about “Fireplug.” Fancy guitar work... Check. Heavy Drums... Check. “F you” lyrics... Really check. They actually say the phrase within the song. You can be pretty sure that
“Last chance at dying young,
Of lost love never enough
Stay cold and cast your stones...”

I actually think what makes me stick around for the album so many times are the final three songs.

“Unforgiven V” is loved purely for the heavy reliance on the guitar and those kick arse riffs that I love. It builds the song so well and makes it so nice to listen to.

On the other end of the spectrum is the next song, “Sometimes A Wolf” which I listen to for a move lyric based reason, although the music is still amazing with beautiful (the pop punk version of beautiful) riffs.
“First time we crossed that line,
Held my breath because we collided
Now we are living on the other side
There's nothing here”

Tying off Top Button, Bottom Shelf is “Lips to the Ground.” I, personally, feel that they just sum up the entire album right there. It has strong riffs, drums that make even the most un-rhythmic people want to air drum and the vocals.
“while I piss away everything
that made me love, made me laugh, made me hope
All this time I've been here waiting,
Take me all the way”

I really do feel that Banquets are just utterly awesome. They write the perfect hooks, perfect lyrics, perfect songs. Top Button, Bottom Shelf is a strong debut that has left me waiting for their next release very eagerly.

 --Koala

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