The Willows â€“ See You Next April / 2008 WillowRock / 11 Tracks / http://www.myspace.com/thewillowsmusic /
It is pretty much a proven fact that, as a band gets larger in number, the ability of the act to create something cohesive declines. However, The Willows (a six-piece act from the Boston area) have been able to destroy that conception with their album â€œSee You Next Aprilâ€. This fact is made more impressive by the fact that The Willows have only been together since 2006. â€œSee You Next Aprilâ€ starts off with a strong introduction to the band, ensuring individual listeners that the act will try their damnedest to impressive any audience. â€œThe Hardened Heartâ€ is a sterling example of the bandâ€™s skill and ability. The band shifts general style and sounds a number of times during this track, from nineties alternative to alt-country and to surf, without losing a beat. Furthermore, they are able to link these disparate styles in a way that makes â€œThe Hardened Heartâ€ into a coherent track.
The Willows also split off from many current bands in that they close out their â€œSee You Next Aprilâ€ in an intense and serious way, instead of just sputtering out or resting on their laurels. This means that â€œSunset and a Smileâ€ is a song that will stick with listeners long after the CD is put back in its case; the vocals here are stellar, calling forth hints of Bryan Adams and Paul Westerberg. The guitar solo that fills in the rest of the track is nothing to scoff at, either: it provides a vocal influence even during those points when the vocals hush up.
The band is strong also because they do not solidify into one style for the entirety of â€œSee You Next Aprilâ€. Rather, The Willows take a major turn into traditional country and bluegrass styles with their â€œThe War In The Heavenly Infernoâ€. This track uses a walking bass and twangy guitars to imbue the song with a timeless sound. The Willows have 11 tracks on â€œSee You Next Aprilâ€ and all 11 tracks on this album are solid. The act has only been around for two years, but the sheer skill of the act in the creation of an album is rarely surpassed by other current acts. If you are a fan of smart arrangements, catchy hooks, and a continually-challenging approach to music, The Willowsâ€™ â€œSee You Next Aprilâ€ should be the next album which you purchase.
Top Tracks: War In The Heavenly Inferno, Lead Me Home