Review Summary: Catchy, fun to sing with. Great songwriting. Not too technical.
With a fast guitar line of succeeding pull-offs opening an album, you will most likely be expecting something similar to that of a Four Year Strong album. Well, in this particular case, you get the pop without the hardcore. If you are looking for a catchy, fun, well written album, then So Begins The Test of a Man is exactly what you are looking for.
With the exception of the acoustic track “Meth is the New America,” these songs are mostly fast paced, fun songs that make you want to sing along. Speaking of singing along, the lyrics are standout on this record. Lines like, “without oppression there would be no sweet relief,” “singing like we know, but admitting that we don’t,” and “it all hurts when it’s only worth a damn” prove that these lyrics were written down for more than the purpose of the album…they left a legacy.
One standout track, “What is it Worth?” incorporates slide guitar to make it the token country ballad of the record. The best moment of the album is the catchy chorus melody in “Last Will in Testimony.” A close runner up is the bridge-chorus transition in “Saw My Youth,” which uses backing choral harmonies, and altered previous lines to tell a story that actually makes sense. (Rare in music.)
This album’s best quality is the consistency from song to song. Every time I hear a new song start I am stoked that I am listening to it. There is not a bad song on this record. Another great quality of this CD is the progression within the songs. The transitions make sense, and they don’t try too hard to be different, but naturally end up with their own sound.
If you are a young kid that needs good emotional music with connecting lyrics to get you through hard times, or if you are a happy old dude…this album is for you. If you are into technical music like The Mars Volta or Between The Buried and Me, this album is not for you. The songwriting is basically unmatched, but the instrument proficiency is somewhat lacking. Give this record a try!