Album Review: The Full Counts - Next Up

 

THE FULL COUNTS

Next Up

Phratry Records

 

 

 

Have you ever heard this old saying: what once was old and out of style, usually comes around to be fresh and hip again? I think “retro” is the cliché word they use to describe that today! It’s usually reserved for fashion trends, but it certainly applies to music as well. With their debut album First Out, underground rock group The Full Counts (comprised of ex-members of Gumball and The Cynics) satisfied an itch that was sorely lacking in the rock music scene; catchy, guitar driven songs that pulled from a 70’s influence. With their highly anticipated sophomore effort Next Up, The Full Counts continue their path into the future by delivering songs that rely on the past. “She Said” opens the album with a mid-tempo, indie rock flare that sets the entire listening experience in motion by showcasing the group’s signatures; power-pop inspired guitars, a catchy rhythm section, and raw vocals that pull as much an influence from heartland rock as they do the slower paced side of the 1970’s punk rock blitz. Where the lazy twang of the guitars on songs such as “Not Tonight” and the mostly acoustic driven album closer “Oh Whoh Oh” give the album a bend towards a singer-songwriter vibe, “Let’s Go” and “Don’t Waste My Time” both sound like they are drenched in the unapologetic punk rock that radiated the CBGB’s stage circa 1977. Though it’s safe to say that this album is a bit all over the place, that’s also the beauty and charm of it as it never allows you to stay to comfortably in one spot. The Full Counts are a band that is chalk full of many different layers and this album is a showcase of each one of those flavors. However, regardless of which way the style may bend and balance from song to song, the group never loses sight of who they are; a guitar driven rock band that perfectly captures a nostalgic vibe but has mastered the know-how of re-imagining it for today’s modern era.

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