Review by Shannon Shumaker
Favorite Weapon’s debut full-length, Sixty Saragossa is hard-hitting, lyrically charged, and most of all, solid. This is an album written by musicians who know exactly what they’re doing and what they want out of their music, making for an amazingly well-rounded record.
One of the best things about Sixty Saragossa is the way it manages to get into your head. The first track, “Hollow” is an incredibly strong opener, and the chorus is bound to have you singing along. It’s catchy, but without being “hollow” if you will. The lyrics on this track are deep, introspective, and most importantly, emotional and relatable, as vocalist Hance Alligood belts out “I swore that I was fine/But I told a lie/I’m hollow on the inside.”
In fact, Alligood’s vocals are stronger than ever this time around, and are easily one of the best aspects of Sixty Saragossa. It seems that he has grown a lot both as a writer and as a singer since his days in his former band, Woe, Is Me, as the vocal work throughout the entire record is absolutely superb. Favorite Weapon is definitely cleaner, more structured and catchier than Alligood’s former project, and it really gives him a chance to showcase his talent as a vocalist. That being said, the vocals are not the only strong point on Sixty Saragossa.
The nice thing about this record is that it doesn’t fit to any specific mold. The catchy choruses are definitely a trademark on Sixty Saragossa, but that’s not the only thing that carries it. The first half of the album is definitely more heavy music wise, while the second half is more upbeat and poppy, but the great thing is, the transition is virtually seamless. When listening to the entire record all the way through, you barely notice the change - it isn’t until you listen to the songs out of order that it’s really noticeable, and even then, Favorite Weapon pull the transition off amazingly. On top of that, it keeps their sound fresh and interesting, no matter how many times you listen to the record.
One of the strongest tracks on Sixty Saragossa is easily the sixth song, “Thorn.” It’s a very well rounded and anthematic track, and Alligood’s vocals are especially strong on the final seconds when everything fades out except for his voice. The only real gripe I have with Sixty Saragossa comes with the end of this song, however. With the way that it fades out in the end, it would make a great final song on the album, however four more tracks still follow “Thorn” before the album actually fades out. That being said, though, the ending of the song does allow the listener to cleanse their palate, so to speak, before moving on to “Running In Circles,” which starts off the more upbeat half of the album.
Overall, Favorite Weapon have managed to craft an incredibly strong debut record. Usually, I find it hard to listen to a band if I know the vocalist from another project, just because I’ll find myself constantly trying to compare the two, but that didn’t happen with this record. Favorite Weapon have managed to find their own unique sound, and it absolutely works for them. Sixty Saragossa is relatable, catchy, and most of all, memorable. This album will be pumping through my speakers for months to come.
Listen to "Hollow" "Thorn" or "Running In Circles"