Streetlight Manifesto
Everything Goes Numb


4.5
superb

Review

by USER (41 Reviews)
June 22nd, 2007 | 15 replies | 3,260 views


Release Date: 2003 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Streetlight Manifesto's Everything goes numb is a landmark album in today's ska scene and will remain an influential record in ska for years to come. It's just too bad that albums like these don't come out that often.

6 of 6 thought this review was well written

Formed from the ashes of Catch 22 and One cool guy, Streetlight Manifesto has been hailed as one of the best ska bands out now. With their names being tossed around the internet for ages, chances are that there's a reason to that. There seems to be a lot of hype around this band. Bands like Arctic Monkeys have been subject to this amount of hype, but there's a difference. Where Arctic Monkeys have been hyped to the point that people avoid them like the plague. Streetlight's hype is a more subtle and more dignified hype. It's not that often that bands are acclaimed by one and all in ska music but Everything goes numb seems to be one of those records that comes once in a while and saves the genre's behind and makes it more respectable. If only albums like these can come out consistently, then maybe ska can become much more of a respectable and relevant genre. It seems as if ska has stooped down to simply a genre that's muddled with frat boy and juvenile lyrics and sub par song writing, Streetlight Manifesto seem like a much needed breath of fresh air in a genre that is finding it difficult to stay relevant. Streetlight manifesto's debut Everything goes numb will literally numb any stereotype you might've had about ska music. Forget about the hit or miss horn sections, the dull and uninspired instruments and the crappy, apathetic and down in the dump lyrics.The sheer amount of originality the band has is quite amazing and the band proves itself able to concoct a variety of rhythms and arrangements within the ska-punk format but that doesn't mean its just another ska punk album.

Quite the contrary, Everything goes numb features a variety of influences which makes it so original and ultimately, different from it's peers. Everything is less predictable compared to what is in the genre these days. Every song has something different to it. From the energetic title track to the polka influenced If and when we rise again (which happens to be the weakest song on here) to the spanish influenced A moment of silence. All of the songs sound more fresh mainly because of Tomas Kalnoky's eccentric song writing. After releasing albums like Keasbey Nights, Everything goes numb and A call to arms it's safe to say that he knows what he's doing and unsurprisingly possesses one of the most creative and eccentric musical minds today. All of the songs are fleshed out in a different and interesting way. In alot of ways, this album is almost the sequel to the classic Keasbey Nights. But this album features more focused song writing and also has it's fair share of epic songs. Songs like A moment of silence and A better place A better time give you chills and most songs are well above 4 minutes long and this is by no means bad. It's actually a very good thing and a welcome change. Often ska music is ranging from 1:30 to 3:30 minute songs tops. This is another reason why Everything goes numb remains a landmark album in the ska scene.

Musically the album is one of the best around and Streetlight Manifesto can boast about the fact that they have quite possibly one of the best if not best horn section in ska today. All the songs are fast and energetic. The horn section consisting of Dan Ross, James Egan and Jim Conti know how to play their instruments and play them well. The accelerations and decelerations adding some anthemic power, the horns injecting a sense of drama into the music. The horn section is what drives this album and is what makes it so enjoyable to listen to. The album is full of vibrant and colourful horn lines that will no doubt make you dance. Sometimes their horn work is almost set up like an orchestra or an ensemble evidenced in the chorus of A moment of silence. Alot of the songs are held together by the jittery nature of the drums, which are surprisingly great and keep things going at a fast pace, drummer Paul Lowndes smashes those drums like no other and drums at a frenetic pace all the while maintaining some spastic rhythms. Musically the band is really tight nitted as one unit. Josh Ansley's impressive and grooving basslines add to the music as he brings forth some pretty fast and rapid basslines on We are the few and That'll be the day, but knows how to slow things down on A better place a better time, which help the music stay interesting. But the guitars are the big let down here, Tomas Kalnoky's guitar skills I imagine are quite good but he isn't able to show those skills on this record which isn't entirely a bad thing mainly because guitar isn't the main feature of ska music. But the guitars serve more of a background purpose and this is one of the small flaws about Everything goes numb's wonderful musicianship.

Tomas Kalnoky is the glue of this band and that glue has one of the strangest vocals in the ska scene today. It's phlegmy and rapid which is something you would see in a typical hardcore punk band. It is similar to an aged hardcore punk singer returning to sing lovely ska songs. His voice is much less phlegmy on this album however. But it can go eitherway (his voice) one second he's singing normally on songs like Here's to Life, A better place A better time and A moment of silence, We are the few and the title track. But then he'll jump right back to the phlegm and rapid vocal delivery reminiscent of 1998's Keasbey Nights on songs like Big sleep, Failing Flailing, If and when we rise again and That'll be the day. This helps to keep things interesting as his voice keeps changing and doesn't stay in the same tone throughout. He sings so rapidly but somehow makes the lyrics audible. His voice has the quickness of a hardcore punk vocalist but with the audible and melodic brilliance unrivaled. Tomas is also the main songwriter and lyricist on the album. Another thing about the vocals is that almost every song is so anthemic partly because of the gang shouted vocals and that makes every song so fun to sing along to.

The lyrics are written in a more narrative form and Tomas Kalnoky eradicates any form of suburban angst that was found in his past lyrics. The songs are written in a more (like I said) narrative way that makes them like a story which has always been a trademark of Kalnokys. Everything goes numb furthers this style and makes it much much better with a variety of topics on hand. The album features topics like suicide, robbery, and social outcasts among more. But written with a more direct optimism on songs like A better place A better time, which is among one of the best songs on the album. Some songs are even introspective looks into Tomas Kolnaky's life evidence in the omage Here's to Life. Lyrically the best song on here is Failing Flailing which pokes fun at suburban teenage life in lines like

so you say your life's a bore
and i can't quite disagree
if you judge your life by the pieces of *** that inhabit your tv


...which is quite possibly one of the best lyrics off this album. Point/Counterpoint (another highlight) also features some great lyrics.

If there was something wrong would you be oh so strong?
Would you do what it takes to move this hollow life along?
I'd like to think I would, you know I'd like to think I would
but I can guarantee that what you see is not reality
and every time she makes a point, I make a counterpoint
She said it's easy but in the end you'll have no choice
and you know that's only just the way it goes
You said it right man, That is just the way it goes


To sum the lyrics up in one sentence. The lyrics are mature, lacking any suburban angst whatsoever and intelligent.

But the one big flaw, which really isn't a big flaw, of the album is probably it's almost too strong of resemblance with Catch 22's Keasbey Nights. When one listens to Everything goes numb the whole way through it's hard not to think of Keasbey Nights. Some songs seem like continuations of some songs that were on Keasbey Nights. Infact, the boys of Streetlight play Keasbey Nights in the middle of Point/Counterpoint live. Everything goes numb has the same mariachi vibe of Dear Sergio and the guitars and horns of That'll be the day sound alot like Sick and sad. Failing Flailing is sometimes played with 9mm and three piece suit spliced in between. It's nothing that really draws back the album, but it makes you think if Streetlight Manifesto is able to make something new off a new foundation.

Finally, Streetlight Manifesto's Everything goes numb is a landmark album in today's ska scene and will remain an influential record in ska for years to come. You'll find it hard to find a mediocre song on this record. It's just too bad that albums like these don't come out that often.


Recommended songs:

Here's to life
Point/Counterpoint
Failing Flailing
A moment of silence
A better place A better time



Recent reviews by this author
TV on the Radio Young Liars EPHammock Maybe They Will Sing for Us Tomorrow
Russian Circles StationUnwound New Plastic Ideas
Helmet MeantimeStrike Anywhere Dead FM
user ratings (1472)
Chart.
4.4
superb
other reviews of this album
antihippy (4.5)
Streetlight's music doesn't as much hook you as it catches you, whacks you on the head, and brings y...

Dylan Wachman (4.5)
...

Kithkin (5)
...


Comments:Add a Comment 
MeowMeow
June 22nd 2007



662 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Is Everything Goes Numb going to become the next Lateralus? Stay tuned to find out!

Catchthe22
June 22nd 2007



95 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

All the songs are fast and energetic.

lies

Jom
Staff Reviewer
June 22nd 2007



2634 Comments


Good review, this is a definitive third-wave album for sure. My only question is about the flaw you addressed: would it really be a surprise that Streetlight is reminiscent of Catch-22, seeing as how members of Catch-22 comprise Streetlight?

SkaRobotArmy
June 23rd 2007



24 Comments


yea, would be important to note that. and i think its neat, not a flaw that those two songs meld together and it was clearly intentional.

the 'mariachi' vibe is likely to the principle song writer (tomas) being from eastern europe, their next album is supposed to incorporate a lot more of this influence.

if you like ska, this album IS essential. the most important album of modern (3rd wave) ska.

Intransit
June 23rd 2007



2797 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

tl;dr

Better than anything Catch 22 has done, even Keasby. Keasby is just like the sacred goat, so people hate to admit that it is so terribly flawed.

EDIT:

Is Everything Goes Numb going to become the next Lateralus? Stay tuned to find out!

Nope, Keasby Nights takes that award. This Message Edited On 06.23.07

iarescientists
June 23rd 2007



5863 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Yeah, we get it Joe

MeowMeow
June 23rd 2007



662 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Well, I was going more for a ton of uneccesary 4.5-5 reviews rather than being overrated...

Aficionado
June 23rd 2007



1027 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Votes would be nice!

BTW, how was this review un-necessary. There's only been 3 reviews for this album prior to this.

JumpTheF**kUp
June 23rd 2007



2710 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Some of the sentences in this review are pretty akward, so I won't vote. My only advice to you in helping you fix some of the akwardness is to read a lot. It helps you get acquainted with more writing techniques and how to properly use turns of phrase and punctuation, as well as expanding your vocabulary. You could definitely be a good writer if you worked on the aforementioned issues.
This is probably my favourite album of all time.

711
June 23rd 2007



1342 Comments


Review is good
Clips up there are good
Album is probably good

Aficionado
June 23rd 2007



1027 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks Jumpthefuckup...any help is appreciated ;)

Intransit
June 23rd 2007



2797 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

he's saying that there are already 2 other 4.5 reviews which say basically the same thing that yours does.

Votes would be nice!

Don't vote whore damnit. They don't mean shit anymore anyway, so why bother


MeowMeow
June 23rd 2007



662 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

So I still haven't found a ska album I enjoy half as much as this one. Actually I haven't found any ska I enjoy besides this one.

Twin Human Highway Flares
June 23rd 2007



36 Comments


I'm giving this another chance after finding it horribly mediocre the first time round.

EDIT: It's okay, but I don't see the brilliance everyone is always going on about. BOTAR>C22>SLM

This Message Edited On 06.23.07

lunchforthesky
August 31st 2007



1039 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This is soo cool. Best third wave album for sure.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2013 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy