April Skies

How It All Played Out

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Although vocalist and chief songwriter Jake Crawford's pipes are somewhat lost in the impressive opener "X," the band's fine musicianship and nifty axe playing are definitely worth the slight annoyance. Crawford and Andy Book weave some Midwestern roots rock magic on this track which brings to mind Soul Asylum and the Replacements if both still had something to prove. And my how they prove it, opening up the track two-thirds of the way in with all guitars blazing. This is also shown later on during the slightly tamer but equally enjoyable "My Love Is in This House." From there, April Skies take the album down a slight notch with the mid-tempo power pop of "Shots" which features some fine harmonies in the tight radio-friendly chorus and foot-stomping closing. However, they perhaps move into a mellow territory far too quickly with the soft "Amnesia," which could be mistaken for an Elvis Costello cover. Fortunately this is quickly forgotten when the powerful and appealing "Grace" soars from the onset. The band shows many different sides throughout the album, whether it's the electro-tinged ditty "Pure" or the slow-building pop nugget "Always Never Finished" which could be mistaken for a cross between the Psychedelic Furs and Snow Patrol. The fact that it's successful for the length of eight minutes is even more surprising. Perhaps the only drawback here is that with such a fine album, one or two more songs could have beefed up the album a smidgeon. But it's a small complaint and afterthought when April Skies kicks into "The Weight" which evokes images of Jimmy Eat World covering a song by the Beatles.

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