Review Summary: Cedar Boulevard ride the wave of punk rock - post hardcore resurgence with the release of Turn to Stone, their first full album, which is a breath of fresh air by refusing to rest on rock clichés.
Hailing from Perth in Australia the founding member of Cedar Boulevard, Luke Sharp (guitar) left his home country to pursue his musical aspirations in America. The band has worked hard since the release of their first self-titled EP in 2015 to craft a sound that is unique and to make sure that the Aussie never looks back in regret.
Cedar Boulevard ride the wave of punk rock - post hardcore resurgence with the release of Turn to Stone, their first full album, which is a breath of fresh air by refusing to rest on rock clichés.
The first song Lost and Alone, which is the shortest track on Turn To Stone, begins with a simple yet effective piano melody that makes an ideal background for the singer to showcase his vocal abilities. It leads to Wake, a song featuring pleasingly guitar riffs, breakdowns and explosive screamed passages.
It is followed by Goodbye that continues in a similar vein and brings to the fore Luke Sharp’s guitar prowess, while the great bass lines and drum patterns play off- of each other effectively throughout the track.
Cedar Boulevard’s sound has drawn comparisons to the work of other acts in the hard rock, post hardcore genres but if there is something that could set them apart is their versatility in transcending musical genres.
Tear, one the best tracks on Turn to Stone, could be used as evidence that this band is not loath to embrace different elements. It feels like it’s broken down into two different parts as it begins with a very bluesy feeling before it kicks into high gear and becomes a hard-rock track, with the blues rock parts cropping up again later.
This is an album that keeps the listeners engaged in its entirety thanks to its tempo changes and flow from one song to the next. The heavy, fast-paced Of Wolves and War has aggressive vocals and frenzied guitar riffs in abundance to sweep you away like a storm. Next up, Feels Like Home is a rock ballad-esque track with a sombre, reflective tone and its power can be found in the melodic vocals and silky guitar.
The penultimate song, Darker Heavens is an eight minutes impressive instrumental that seamlessly blends post-hardcore influenced beatdowns with blues rock vibes.