I’ve been a musician and started writing about music over a decade ago. There are a couple of things that you pick up along the way. One thing is the universal law of the universe - bands often sound like what they were listening to in their coming of age years. Without fail I have been able to predict style and genre dependent on age. When I saw there was a band Class of 91 I was wondering if that’s when they actually graduated. My guess is it is or is very close. The magic age range seems to be about seventeen to twenty-one when your brain decides this will be the music that’s your foundation.
I was young but alive in 1991. Bands like REM, Dinosaur Jr and other like-minded groups were making the rotation on MTV. Grunge didn’t quite hit yet and there was this warm, college rock thing going on which some say REM was leading the charge. Eyes on Fire is the recent release from Class of 91 and certainly sounds like it's very from the early ’90’s. In fact there was really nothing that would indicate this was released recently. The aesthetics, style and delivery felt like it was emerging from a specific sliver of time.
The band rock fast and hard out of the gate with “Little Fiction.” It’s a short yet catchy song with a good amount of spirit. They continue with their type of energy on “Breakaway” while “Stockholm” is a nostalgic tune but not quite a ballad. I would say there is a little more Americana spirit in this song.
“Couldn’t This Be Right” is the first song with a different overall type of energy. The guitars are clean and the mood is a mix of serene and motivational. “Cassettes In Helsinki” leans more into nostalgia. They bring up the energy with “Eyes On Fire” and “Destroyer.” Last up is the uplifting “This Is Magic.”
My only critique is that the album felt like it was frozen in time. The band never really escapes the early ’90s alternative vibe and doesn't insert a new factor in the equation that could make it feel familiar and new at the same time. That being said I'm sure purist will love it.
Overall, I really liked this album. It was nostalgic, the songs are well written and the performances are top notch. I think it goes without saying that this album will resonate most with fans of ’90s alternative. If you’re not familiar with this style this is a good place to start. Recommended.
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