The compilation album from Warped '04 introduced me to several excellent bands, one being the Descendents, and another was 1208, a band that I had never previously heard of. If anybody remembers, they introduced themselves to the masses with the song "Fall Apart" and still somehow managed to stay somewhat underground. I myself had a very difficult time finding any album from the band and finally unearthed "Turn Of The Screw" in a record store in Phoenix, AZ a few weeks ago. This album is definitely one of the gems of 2004, with its incredible energy and excellent musicianship, it's amazing to me that many people passed this album by. 1208's line-up is
Manny: Drums (except on tracks 10 and 13, drumming was done by John Cranfield)
*For this I will revert to one of my older reviewing styles.
Vocals: For the vocals on this album, think Tom DeLonge from Blink 182 meets Jordan Pudnik from New Found Glory, sort of high pitched, yet not whiney. Alex has an amazing range, some songs like "Fall Apart" and "My Loss" feature him using his higher pitched vocals while "Not You" and "Smash the Badges" have a lower vocal approach. Some songs have group vocals, like the shouts of "HEY!" in "Next Big Thing". 1208 features some of my favorite vocals, second only to the vocals of Rise Against.
Lyrics: The lyrics are a weaker point of this album. They are by no means bad, they are creative, but sometimes they are cliched, mostly relationship and alienation as a main subject, but some songs stray away from this formula. "Smash the Badges" (which features overlapping siren sounds in the bridge) is about rebelling against authority. "Next Big Thing" is about an aspiring young artist in the music industry. "Turn Of the Screw" has very confusing lyrics, I'm not sure what exactly they say, but it has a consistent rhyming pattern, with each line rhyming the one above it.
Instruments: The instrumental work on this album compliment each other and Alex extremely well.
Guitar: Neshawn does a nice job with the guitar work on this album, laying out great, heavy sounding leads, like the catchy power chords of "Next Big Thing" or the acoustic melodies from "The Saint". Some songs even include short solos, "Turn of the Screw" and "Not You" are the best solo work this album has to offer. I think Alex does some guitar work as well, slamming out some varied power chords to add to the overall effect of the album.
Bass: Straying away from the traditional "let's drown out the bass" theme, Bryan plays rumbling bass lines that are, more often than not, highly audible. This stays true for every song. The only downside is that the bass is usually drown out in the chorus. Other than that, you can easily distinguish the bass from every thing else. Bryan is also a very good bassist, playing very catchy lines without re-using any material in any song.
Drums: The drumming on this album is very nicely executed. Manny is one of the greatest drummers I have heard in a long time. "Fall Apart" is his shining moment on this album, as he beats on the drums at incredible speeds. The drumming done by John Cranfield is also quite good. "Hurts To Know" features some of the greatest drumming on the album.
If there is a song I forgot to mention, it doesn’t mean the song is bad, as every song has a sound of it's own. Songs will not get confused for another, which is one of the reasons this album is so good. The only downside is that the songs do get a little repetitive, as the chorus is repeated many times over as the songs progress. Other than that, any fan of music in general can find something to appreciate, and this gets a very high recommendation from me, so give it a listen.