I haven’t had the extraordinary pleasure of meeting this group hailing from Charlotte, NC, but if their music is any indication of who they are, we are all in for one heck of a ride. With Something Clever’s newly released album, Season of Light, they are headed for places beyond the stars. As a musician, I have found myself looking for local bands to listen to that want “it.” Well, after fully listening to Season of Light, I can personally say that this band is salivating for what is next while they make their way through the ears of this country. With the clean, powerful vocals giving me hints of Adam Gontier (formerly of Three Days Grace, currently of Saint Asonia), and the screams giving way to thoughts of Beartooth and Trivium, the guitars, bass, and drums, completing this epic novel by pushing punk beats, hard rock, and metal riffs, reminding me of AFI, Throw the Fight, and Sent by Ravens.
Each track has its own story yet still internally connected, never letting go of its endless grip. In the beginning of the opening track, “Snake Oil,” close your eyes and imagine walking into an arena and everything is pitch black. You make your way through the herd of people just as curious as you, wondering what is lurking around the corner. As everyone sits quietly and listens to the announcement, the creepy background chorus singing, “la la la,” until you hear the band join in, exploding with the energy of a thousand atom bombs. After leaving you breathless and tasting the iron from the mosh pit, they calm your heartbeat by introducing you to their softer side with their album titled track, “Season of Light,” filling you with hope, still never letting go; however, don’t let that fool you because they enter back into the realm of heavy rock with their next track, and my personal favorite, “Living Not Existing.”
Just when you think they’ve gone heavy, they melt your face with their straight up metal track, “Never Been to Vancouver.” This song will annihilate anything that crosses its path, leaving no trace that anything else ever existed. Slowing down once more, “Break Through” provides a sense of curiosity that keeps you on the edge of the cliff yet holding back. This sound will touch your feelings so prepare yourself. “A Loss for Words” continues the darker side of things, nearly crossing that line where you almost lose control, lifting you up, then bringing you back down to reality as it ends abruptly, like a smack in the face to wake you up. Their middle track, “Daybreak” brings out the inner peace of that literal sunrise, that breath of fresh air, like a new beginning.
The onslaught continues with “You’re Gone.” This song is purely hard rock all the way down to the roots, with the solo bringing a whole new life. The next song literally made me stand up and head bang. Sliding back into their metal side with “Dysphagia,” knocking you on your backside before throwing you into oblivion with their breakdown, also using to end the song. You can feel it lift you up for their next track, “Black Diamonds.” This song opens hard and in your face then pulls back, letting you know who you are inside and out. Oh man, the next song, “Rise,” is the epitome of an anthem, “…we’ll rise again just to take it all.” How could you not want to stand and do exactly that? Amazing.
The next track, “Drown,” is something I can relate to on a personal level. Everyone has times where they feel like they just can’t seem to push forward but somehow, they manage to make it through by following their guiding light. The song gets a bit heavier as it nears the bridge where the solo makes you feel like a dove, flying above the hopelessness, where nothing can touch you. Their final, yet inspiring track, “Still Alive,” gives you the light you’ve been looking for.
The message for the entire album is about never giving up, never think that you are alone because you aren’t. We all have a fire burning inside of us and at times, it may be difficult to find the motivation to keep it lit, but never stop trying, never stop searching.
Make sure you catch Something Clever on their Season of Light tour and give them a big thumbs up on their Facebook.