Album Review: The Stormalongs ‘Raise Up Your Head’

Band: The Stormalongs

Album: Raise Up Your Head

Label: Independent Release

Rating: 4/5

By:Aaron Binder

“So how did things go with Kelsey this summer man?”

“Oh…it turned out to be a fleeting love; I’d rather not go there right now.”

“Sorry to hear it, well, we’re throwing a summer’s end party tonight and Emma will be there if you need to ease the pain, she’s always up for a good time.”

“Thanks man, but I think I’m just going to stay home tonight and wallow.”

“What if I told you The Stormalongs were going to be there…and Emma said she wanted to see you?”

“Emma…said that?  This is going to be awesome.  Oh yeah, The Stormalongs are great too.  Dude, you’re a real bro.”

And so it goes; as the seasons progress, we grow wiser, older and perhaps even more calm and understanding.  With the release of The Stormalongs debut album ‘Fell Like Bricks’ last year, the band seemed to be on a summer love kick, the sound encapsulated everything it was to be a teenager.

Their newest release, Raise Up Your Head, takes the next logical step for the band, expanding their sound in a more progressive direction with bigger melodies and a load of introspective lyrics.  It’s like the first time you wear a sweater in the fall, change is coming and it might just happen faster than you intend.

The most noticeable difference on their new album is the addition of new instruments and the sweeping melodies.  Where their first album was a solid showing, it didn’t stray far from the conventions of sonic rock.  This time around the band has played around with song structure to mix it up; they have even tossed in some new instruments to sweeten the pot.

Compared to their first album, the new one does include many new avenues of musical exploration, but there are a couple of spaces that should have been more thought out though.  Where the first album was an exploratory leap into the music world, this one progresses well, but the band needs to learn how to cut some of the fat for their next album.  Certain sections drone on and even a couple of songs (Effortless, Equinox) could have been left off the album as they seem unfinished at points.

What you get with The Stormalongs new disc is a solid step up from their first release, sonic styled rock with an expanded roster of influences that truly shine through on some songs.  Even with the slight bumps in the road, this is one album that could find its way into some best-of lists in Toronto for 2010.


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