Along The Way is a three-piece band comprised of Matt Day (guitar/vocals), Conor Maier (bass) and Sam Nickerson (drums) that recently released an EP entitled Waiting For Bad News. They play straightforward alternative rock that doesn’t throw you any curve balls.
The band has a good chemistry and I have to admit the first thing that really got my attention was the drumming. Nickerson is one of those drummers that can revitalize a song and is able to give it a kinetic energy. Take for example the first track “Don’t Blink.” There is a section about a minute-and-a-half in where Nickerson pulls off some impressive bass drum action that keeps the song’s energy moving.
Since Day is the only guitarist and singer he is going to have a tougher time playing technical- demanding guitar parts during vocal parts. Day does mix it up quite well and makes the most of it. Take for instance the guitar tapping lead you are greeted with at the beginning of “Don’t Blink” or the flurry of chord changes he pulls off before the three-minute mark. The second song “Moments” starts with clean guitar and vocals. It’s a buoyant, almost relaxing vibe and I thought the bass and drum work added a lot to the groove. The song explodes in a predictable yet effective ‘90s type chorus. I liked the fact the band doesn’t overstay its welcome on the chorus. Than there's that drumming again. Listen to that insanely fast hi-hat action on the second verse.
“Heathen” was the highlight on the EP. Right around the minute mark the combination of rumbling toms, clean guitar and steady bass sounds great. The chorus rocks and Day attempts to hit really high notes when he sings but he doesn’t always get there. Even so I admired his dedication.
I won’t deny that Along The Way is a talented band but I would say that have a very general, ubiquitous sound. In this day and age you really need to have somewhat of a distinct sound in hopes of getting noticed in the endless seas of rock bands. Just look at bands like Deerhunter, Viet Cong and Beach House, all of which have very distinct sound that you couldn't confuse with any one else.
Waiting For Bad News is a solid listen overall with enjoyable songs. If they can hone in on what makes them unique then there won't be much stopping them.
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