Reading up on the band, the first thing that caught my eye was their honesty. They are Pop-Rock. They call themselves Pop-Rock. They make a point to not have any instrument on their album that they don’t play live. To quote their guitarist Mike Kitlas, “The distinctive sound we are reaching for is rock and roll… We are going for a very raw and real sound for this record.” They stuck to this mantra on every song. You get the feeling listening to this album that the songs would sound very similar if you were listening to the band practice in a garage, and that’s not a bad thing. Every song feels genuine and real.
The two founding members of the band, Mike Kitlas and Slade Echeverria, have been friends since kindergarten. They met up with their drummer, Greg Garrity, in middle school, and finished up their lineup with Adam Juwig on guitar shortly thereafter. After listening to them, it’s not hard to tell that these guys have pretty much grown up together. Every piece of the band seems to both stand out on its own and support the other pieces equally. It’s obvious that they all enjoy working
together, and they do it well.
My favorite song on the album, hands down, is the closer, “Always Dirty, Never Clean”. In it, they put the cookie-cutter music industry on blast. Every song ends with a very simple, yet poignant question: “What the f*ck happened to Rock and Roll?” I myself have asked this question on countless Nickleback-related occasions. They go on to challenge the “image before talent” mentality of pop music with the last line in their chorus, “Music is what you hear, and not what you see.” Preach on Anarbor. Preach on.