Review Summary: Somebody give this kid a shovel.
Sand Castles self-titled EP arrived at the beginning of 2013 and is labeled as the last release from the band. If this stands as so it will be a shame, as it is their finest release yet. Often compared to their peers Merchant Ships, Park Jefferson and Midwest Pen Pals, the band finally managed to find it’s own voice. Why call it quits now? Hopefully the project wasn’t of use to the writer(s) anymore, since the material is rather bleak.
The release is a succinct yet satisfying 12 minutes. The album starts out with the singer lamenting about an ex-lover. Standard emo trope, but the chorus is killer, where the singer seems to make a grudging peace. It doesn’t last long, as “Hate Songs” lashes out quickly thereafter. At what or whom is impossible to decipher. “Sad Songs” is an appropriate send off, with these affecting lyrics hanging on the air as the songs ends, “Move my life out to the west, change my name and block your calls, pray to god that I don’t fall”.
Sand Castles is by no means a genre defining piece of work. What it is is a smart, earnest set of songs from a regular kid trying to deal with his problems. What he does is nothing pretentious yet nothing remarkable. The fact that the band was able to execute this in an affecting, memorable way speaks well to the band’s development. As it is, this release deserves to stand among the best work of its peers. It’s always a shame to see a band depart too early; here’s hoping whatever music comes next from the creators of this project is a lot happier than the songs present here.