Squad Five-O

Squad Five-O

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    8
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Drenched in power punk chord changes, with rather rocky and raw emotion serving as the driving force behind each song, this effort is proof that Squad Five-O is evolving in the right direction. The long-titled opening tune has all the characteristics of Tommy Stinson and his Bash & Pop outfit, with an extremely Midwestern feel regardless of the group's hometown. But most of the album is gorgeous party rock & roll, such as "The Adolescent Night" and "No Tomorrow." The tightness of each song is maintained extremely well, without coming across as a stuffy, overproduced affair. "Screaming With the Sirens" is a great example of Squad Five-O's maturation, taking a song and expanding it by simply avoiding two-minute parameters and allowing a greater flow, which the band accomplishes in a majority of the numbers. Yet songs such as "Underground Hearts" and the acoustic ballad "Crystal Coastline" are too deliberate and serve as an abrupt change of pace, evoking the idea of emocore in the listener's head. Making the most of each instrument, whether through the power tangents on some solos or the ascending and descending basslines of John Fortson, the album is saturated in infectious, lip-pursing singalongs. During "Wasted (With You)," the sound moves too far into a roots and Southern vibe, but it's a small price to pay for a very solid, finely crafted album.

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