Chicago rockers Plain White T's have established a name for
themselves outside of the Vans Warped Tour with their hit song "Hey
There Delilah" giving them international recognition. The band
has re-released their debut album, Stop, on Fearless Records
which includes three bonus tracks. The album builds the band's power
punk rock foundation, additionally suspending a country-folk flavoring
on select tracks and an energetic modern rock flare on others. The
band teeters between a domesticated soft rock swing and an upbeat
power rock propulsion. It's music that a young generation of rock
fans have grabbed onto and taken for a ride, impacted with fun and
boosts of optimism that make you want to face what's up ahead.
Songs like the title track, "Please Don't Do This," and
"What If" create a power rock fanfare that riles up vigorous
arpeggios moored by solid, driving rhythms. The party-punk grooves
of "Fireworks" and "Happy Someday" foment and
frazzle the chord dynamics. The melodic rock fuses on "Leavin'"
have a Nickelback lift, and the country-folk lathers on "Shine"
and "A Lonely September" produce a comfortable Eddie
Vedder stroking. The band is headstrong when it comes to their
power pop punk sledges filing through tunes like "Your Fault,"
"Can't Turn Away," and "Penny (Perfect For You)."
The lyrics are narratives like in "Penny" showing a determination
not to play the fool, "You're tellin' me that you don't mess
around/ And I'm telling you that I don't care/ Well OK, go have your
fun/ go out with penny if it's what you've gotta do/ But if you tell
him that you love him/ Make sure that he knows that you told me that
The album flows into a soothing soft rock ballad on "Radios
In Heaven" honing a warm vocal radiance and breezy melodic valves
tenderly embossed. The album includes three bonus tracks that are
worth checking out starting with the emo-rock stylizing of "Cinderella
Story" which is powered by heart-felt vocals and excitable rhythmic
shifts. The rustling drum kicks of "Bruises" stimulate a
party-fun enthusiasm and the hard rock-toned revelry in the layering
of "Let's Pretend" is worthy of Circa Survive. The
band's guitarist Dave Tirio plays the drum parts on the album,
Ken Fletcher plays bass, and the band's co-writer Steve
Mast performs the guitar segments. The band's lineup today includes
De'Mar Hamilton on drums, Mike Retondo on bass, Tirio
and Tim Lopez on guitars and backup vocals, and Higgenson
on lead vocals.
Produced by Loren Israel (Sugarcult, Rock Kills
Kid) and the Plain White T's, Stop is headstrong when it
comes to the band's power punk burns. The album fires up and concludes
with an equal measure of enthusiasm. The music comes in with the hoots
and hollering heard on the first day of spring break and leaves you
taking that frolicking freedom with you. What keeps the listener's
interest is that the band soaks their feet in other waters beside
the urgency of power punk whorls and makes an album that provides
more than one dimension.
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