The American Scene - Safe For Now (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The American Scene

Safe For Now (2012)

Pure Noise Records

Pure Noise has done well with its variety of artists from the post-hardcore to pop-punk genres, and the American Scene has proven to be quite capable in the latter field. "Just Say It" and "Blood Orange" exemplify that simple and mellow alternative pop-punk feel of the band and fans of last year's Seahaven release would probably enjoy this a bit more than the average fan.

This record also tries to strengthen their indie vibe from past tracks released but struggles to lose that pigeonholed sound throughout. "Hungry Hands" shows there's a chance that the band may have held back a bit rather than cut loose and go a bit heavier on the punk aspect than the pop part. It's a pretty mellow record which runs the risk of sounding a tad bit repetitive because of the reason just mentioned...they eased off the punk.

"Fifth and Natoma" proves to be most endearing song on the record and in its honesty, it acts as the strongest track. The record doesn't manage to shake that alternative/indie saturation until "Shape Shifter" and don't get me wrong, while it's a slow and mellow album, that doesn't mean it's bad. But, with 10 tracks, .the same sound is found a bit in too many of the tracks. So while the record remains listenable, it still feels like the safety's on in many layers.

"The View From Here" feels like what should have been the impetus of the album–fast-paced yet still catchy. While the American Scene have perfected the act of the radio-friendly album here, again shown in "Used to You" and the closer, "Safe For Now," there's a grit and frenzy that was left out that could have given this album an extra edge. One thing I can't dispute: It's an emotion-filled rollercoaster of heartbreak and tension that fits the alternative/indie/pop scene quite well, so if you're looking for a full-fledged album that's easy on the ears, this is for you. But you may be left clamoring a bit more like me, especially if you know that this band has that potential to take the extra step from a listenable and catchy record to a really badass LP.