The Chicago-based quartet's debut disc, Everybody Down, explodes with thick guitar melodies and hooky alternative rock songs brimming with youthful agitation, passion, and solid musicianship . Singer/guitarist/songwriter Brian McSweeney's compositions blend the pathos of Jeff Buckley and Thom Yorke, while guitarist Jason Stipe, bassist James Scott, and drummer Matt Sumpter render airtight guitar-based arrangements to compliment their leader's vocal dynamics and introspective wordplay. Matthew excels in several different musical configurations, namely ethereal ballads ("Open Wide"), spacy mid-tempo rockers ("In the Wonder"), and heavy metal thunder ("Streams"). The epic title track evokes the monster-hit songcraft of the Goo Goo Dolls and Matchbox Twenty, wielding as much drama and emotion as a three-minute-plus modern pop song can handle.
AllMusic Review by Tom Semioli