The New Arizona is a young band for from Fargo, North Dakota consisting of Josiah Billock (guitar/vocals), Noah Blickensderfer (bass/keys/vocals), Westley Johnson (drums) and Alex Johnson (guitar). Their recent release No Regrets is all about catchy hooks and power pop. For being such a young band that I believe is still in high school they showcase a knack for writing a memorable melody.
The songs sound like a combination of Weezer and Fountains Of Wayne with a tinge of power pop. It’s easy to digest music that doesn’t require much effort from the listener. The chord progressions and melodies aren’t the most complicated or original thing you have heard this year but work fine for the style of music they play.
No Regrets starts with “No Exception” which was an interesting choice to say the least to start things off. It is a slow, heartfelt, sparse piano ballad that begins with no warning. I thought it was a decent track but thought it may have worked better as a closer.
The next track “I Bought You A Belt & You Didn't Like It” is certified power pop that is one of the highlights of the album. It’s the melodies and delivery that make the song work. The lyrics are simple to understand and require no scrutiny. Blickensderfer sings, “you'd think with all of the friends & all the loose ends then maybe i could figure it out and with all of the talk & the time on the clock then maybe baby we could figure it out.” The high point comes when they introduce a female vocalist and do some good sounding back and forth.
“Words Unsaid” sounds a bit like The Clash during the verse but transitions into a more contemporary sounding pop punk sound when the chorus hits. The band shows that they are dynamic and versatile with “Not Quite Sure” while “Take Me Home” actually contains some blues inspired riffs.
The New Arizona is a young band that still has a way to go before they can compete with some of the more notable acts creating similar styles but they show promise. Luckily, time is on their side and they can perfect their craft as long as they keep at it.
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