Facing New York - Facing New York (Cover Artwork)

Facing New York

Facing New York (2005)

Five One, Inc.

If you're not listening to Facing New York, you're missing out on the best thing out there right now.
It kills me every time I read that quote, which is from one of the ads Punknews.Org runs on the top of the page (at least, at the time that I'm writing this). It kills me, not because I don't agree (maybe I would say "one of the best," since contrary to popular belief, there is still a ton of great music out there), but because it is a quote by a dude from Taking Back Sunday. Don't let that turn you off of this band, as they sound nothing like TBS (or maybe you haven't even noticed the quote and I should have never pointed it out).

Facing New York is the best guitar-driven prog-pop-rock with keyboards band out there right now. What the eff does that mean? It means Mars Volta Lite, but without the annoying high-pitched singing. The singer does have a very distinct voice, though, that might not be for everyone. The only way that I can describe it is flat without actually being flat, kind of nasally, and completely charming.

This album flows like a beautiful river going from slow and building to fast and powerful and then back again, and they pull it off without a hitch. Anyone who is familiar with the band's first two EPs might be initially disappointed to find that about half of the songs on here are on the slow side, as I was. But I couldn't have been more wrong in my disappointment; although I do love when this band tends to get a little more aggro ("Javelina" and "Fly On The Wall"), the wonderful ambience of "Butterfly Clock" and the comforting Christmas feel of "Apple Sugar Cider" are equally as satisfying.

Lyrically, the singer hints that this band is ready for a change of life. They are ready to take their music and tackle the world. It goes along with the music and even the band's name perfectly. I don't really know how they chose Facing New York as their name, but to me, knowing that this band is from San Francisco, it just shows that they are preparing themselves for a journey. They are ready for a challenge, and they are figuratively and literally facing New York. This band is ready for great things, and this debut makes it clear.

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P.S. Yes, I stole Mars Volta Lite from that elitist snobby reviewer Jesse, and yes I called him out on it in his review, but after I heard this new album, I had to agree. But you can't just say Mars Volta Lite without commenting on the vocals.

P.P.S . This review was kinda cheesy, sorry.