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The Status
So This Is Progress
Doghouse Records


You shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but what about an album by its artwork? Nope, still not a good idea. Honestly, I caught myself doing that exact thing when I picked up the album So This Is Progress from the recently popular band The Status. With the state of our lovely country the way it is now-a-days, you can't help but form opinions on a band whose album cover depicts a scene reminiscent of Black Hawk Down. But like I said, no judging!

If you check out the band's MySpace page you'll find one of their genre listings as "Melodramatic Popular Song." Melodramatic - appealing to the emotions; Popular - commonly liked and approved; and we all know what a Song is. So basically they're appealing and commonly liked. Sounds like a band I want to listen to. One of the first songs that really caught my... err... ear was conveniently the first song on the album "Back On Your Feet." The beginning of the song starts off with a great alternative sound; the guitar is low and fast. I can't help but get the urge for bands like The Almost or Anberlin when I first hear this song. Though once it bursts into the chorus it morphs into a bit more poppy sound, you know that higher octave, jumping around with big ole grins on your face, kind of music. The title track "So This Is Progress" also makes it on my list of preferred songs. Plain and simple, the chorus is addictive. When a band brings out the harmonies, it's hard not to attempt your own pitch matching. There are a few times in this song when the lead singer Ben comes out sounding eerily like another certain popular lead singer from a certain band rhyming with Rayside (or Bayside). But perhaps that's to be expected, as Anthony found so much promise in The Status that he decided to take them under his wing as their manager. I have to say the most surprising song on the album is "The Wake Of What's Been Done." The guitar in this one feels a bit more of a mix between blues and old fashion rock. It may only really be present at first and a few times through the rest of the song, but that's enough to grab your attention. It leaves the way for Ben to come in and solo over some drums that pick away the song, beat by beat. This is a grooving song, though the dynamics change so quickly that it's hard to keep up. Boogie, wait… head bang, no… mosh around. Eh, it all works. "Sinking" is a very poetic way to end the album. And I'm not only talking about the actual title of the song. The song itself is a masterpiece in its own. It's very stripped down, without actually losing any instruments. The drums are still there, but only a couple are being used. The guitar is around as well, however very faint and nothing really extravagant. This is a song that really allows the vocals to shine.

It's good stuff. And you know if it's got Anthony's approval then it must be. So album artwork aside, this band deserves an unbiased listen. Besides they're "appealing to the emotions" and you can never get enough of that.

-Rachel Fredrickson
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Mike Doughty



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