Review by Dom Vigil
Within the first few seconds of the first track on their new EP, Wherever You May Be, Friday Night Lites paint a pictures of longing, heartache, and most importantly, overcoming difficulties. There’s a hint of melancholy and sadness in the vocals and lyrics, but in no time at all, the songs on this EP become bright and hopeful, a direct reflection of life, and the result is a very relatable release.
Right off the bat, the clean guitar and vocals in the beginning of “Neck Deep” are sure to catch your attention. The emotion is palpable in the vocals, and the lyrics of this track serve as a perfect opener to the themes on the album, especially lines like, “Stop blaming yourself/For the things that you can’t change/You’re better off focusing/On making the next step bigger than the ones you’ve taken before.” “Neck Deep” is positive, emotional and anthemic, and by the time it fades into “Bases Loaded,” Wherever You May Be promises to be an incredible release. And as it turns out, “Bases Loaded” is the perfect snapshot of Wherever You May Be, feeling a little melancholy but very catchy. The balance in this song is great, as the verses are carried mostly by strong and fun to listen to guitar work, while the choruses are carried by memorable vocal melodies and the relatable lyricism that Friday Night Lites are sure to be known for.
While the energy on a few of the songs on this EP may sound a little similar (see “Pretty Girl Takes The Square” compared to “Bases Loaded”) “The Blind Side” is a beautiful and emotional acoustic ballad, standing apart from the rest, and standing strong despite its different sound. The great thing about “The Blind Side” is that it strips away the poppiness and fun to listen to guitar hooks and catchy choruses that make the otherwise sad or emotional songs more upbeat and full of energy. “The Blind Side” holds the same amount of emotion as the other tracks on the album, but the stripped down instrumentals allow listeners to take it right at face value, and the result is a very raw song. Lines such as, “When I was at my worst/I’d argue with you that this would be my best,” as memorable and touching, and when the full band and group vocals come together, the song takes a big and inspirational turn. “Heroes get remembered/But legends never die,” rings out strong and ends the song on a positive note, building and building up until the end.
After “The Blind Side,” there are still three more tracks that bring Wherever You May Be to a close, and it seems that the album takes a much more positive turn after the ballad. “Call It A Day” kicks off with a strong guitar hook, a catchy bass line, and upbeat, fun to listen to vocals. The turn in the mood is definitely noticeable, but not unwelcome, as Wherever You May Be is a story of change and overcoming difficulties. “Glass” serves as the perfect closer for this reason, as it feels brighter and very different than any other song on the album, ending things on a high note. While it doesn’t feel very “pop-punk,” like the rest of the album, “Glass” is great emotional ending, sure to leave listeners lingering for more relatable tunes from Friday Night Lites. If this group is capable of this much change and emotion in only seven songs, I can’t wait for a full-length.
Listen to "The Blind Side"
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