Review Summary: Believe it or not teenagers playing pop-punk can have unique ideas.
As an avid fan of pop punk, I sometimes find myself enjoying bands for the sole reason that they play their style of music better than most in the genre. Some bands represent certain areas of an overloaded genre and stand out simply because they perform their sound well and do so with a distinguishable personality. Up-and-comers There For Tomorrow have set themselves on a similar path. The Orlando based quartet has generated quite a buzz since their self released EP, Pages
, was released in 2007. With a strong D.I.Y. work ethic, undeniable chemistry, and an interesting take a genre not known for stepping out of the box, the group was noticed by Hopeless Records and signed to the label earlier this year. Their self titled label debut EP is a collection of sincerely performed, edgy, ambient, catchy, and just down-right impressive minor key pop-punk /rock tunes.
Putting some pieces together, the edgy, ambient pop-punk style and the hometown of Orlando certainly could describe Anberlin. It is fairly safe to say that There For Tomorrow is following in the footsteps of their hometown heroes, but do a commendable job of never turning influence into a model to rip-off of. The quartet, despite their young age, has already established a personality of their own and delivers it with a sense of maturity well beyond their years. One of the first things listeners will notice about There For Tomorrow is how well they use guitar riffs and melodies to form a full atmosphere. Two of the edgiest tracks the EP has to offer, “Pages” and “No More Room to Breathe,” are led by strong guitar sections. “Pages” opens with a simple enough lead and builds momentum thanks to an intertwining rhythm section. Christian Climer’s lead guitar is present through almost every section of the song, along with interesting drum parts courtesy of Chris Kamrada. Lead single “No More Room To Breathe” follows a similar pattern, once again making strong use of guitars and backing it up with memorable vocal harmonies. While both songs are admirable efforts thanks to impressive guitar work, strong vocals, and interesting rhythms, the group manages to very tastefully incorporate subtle electronic samples into their already rich sound.
The electronic sampling and programming is utilized with extreme precision and care, and really puts the quartet over the top. A piano sample starts the record off before the rest of the band picks up on “Deadlines.” While the opener is delivered at a slightly slower tempo then plenty of the record, the driving rhythms and atmospheric guitar work are still present and effective. The same can be said for the slowest tune presented: “Remember When.” Even despite its scaled-back pace for opening half, the group still creates an enjoyable sound. Aside from their instrumental strengths, the vocal power and diversity in their singer is what allows them to have so much flexibility in their writing. Maika Maile has a smooth and sincere voice which works as effectively on softer tunes as it does with the crunchier ones. The group has no doubt realized this and crafted their seven song disc accordingly. Regardless of the pace or style, the group delivers a phenomenal performance from start to finish.
It is incredibly rare to find a group so young executing a record this well, but all of the signs just seem to add up. Each member has impressive individual talent and is able to express it with one another. I’m a firm believer individual talent in this genre means nothing without band chemistry and strong songwriting, two feats these Florida natives have down. The album closer “Taking Chances” sums up the EP perfectly, as it expresses everything there is to love about There For Tomorrow. Between the persistent atmospheric lead work, passionate vocal delivery, intriguing rhythms, and strong backing vocals, the track closes things beautifully. As it begins to fade out with a piano section, the reveals just how impressive this quartet is. With a mere seven song outing, the Orlando crew shows a unique personality and offers a diverse collection of tunes while never straying away from their identity. Their sound is one that will not get mixed up in the dime-a-dozen, flavor of the week acts which are multiplying faster than rabbits these days. A well-written and impressively performed EP leaves me to believe that these four guys will indeed to here for tomorrow, and I am anxiously waiting to see what tomorrow will bring.