Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Album Review: Weightless by Resolutions


Weightless is the new album from German five-piece melodic punk band Resolutions. It comes out on February 26th on Fond Of Life Records and Resolutions are a band I've wanted to check out properly for a while so when I got the chance to give this album a listen I was very excited.


The first song on Weightless is named Machines and it begins with some great dual guitars and a big drum beat before the singers vocals come in in a way that really makes you want to sing along from the very first listen. You've all heard this style of punk rock now; mid-tempo punk rock with a raspy vocal a la Hot Water Music. For Resolutions the vocals, whilst still be fairly raspy, come across as quite poppy, which is great as it sets Resolutions apart from other bands in the genre. Second track Waxman starts with some big vocals that really grabbed my attention. As with a lot of melodic punk rock, the vocals often do the job of providing the melody of the song and this is certainly the case here. Waxman is a song that will have you singing from beginning to end with a great big smile on your face. I'm reminded of Bad Religion on the following song Quicksound as it could easily be legendary front man Greg Graffin singing this song. Sounding like one of the most successful punk bands ever is no bad thing though. There is a maturity in the sound here, knowing when to hold back and then exploding at the right moment.

Up next is a song called 8 Arms. This is a fairly short song but gives Resolutions’ lead singer a chance to really show off the strength of his voice. I really like the tempo of the song; it's slightly faster than the previous tracks and this adds a degree of urgency to the song. Up To All starts with a nice bass line accompanied by a pounding drum and some subtle guitar chords before the singer's powerful vocal really gets things going. Something I really enjoy about both this song and the album is that the songs feel like they would work both in a small club and in a much larger venue. Worst Magician is one of the stand-out songs on the record. On this track Resolutions really ramp up the Hot Water Music style punk rock with some fantastic dual guitars and some great gruff, gravelly, raspy vocals. It's also the only song on Weightless that goes over the three-minute mark. It's paced perfectly, sometimes on shorter songs it feels like the band tries to include too much in too short a time but happily that's not the case on this track. I love the guitars on next track Flat Landscapes. The chords give out a lot of energy, which, along with the passion from the singer’s voice on the track, really help it stand out. The ending in particular stood out with the guitars and vocals going off on different melodies to create a very interesting sound.

After some crunching guitars at the start of the eighth song Twins there is a feeling of containment throughout the track. The song does well not to explode into life despite often feeling on the cusp of doing just that. For the first time on the album a second vocal is introduced for the chorus, adding a wonderful new element to Resolutions sound. Not On Time is a fantastic, high-energy track that falls more into the realm of pop punk. From the opening guitars to the final vocals the track doesn't slow down and this really gives the whole album an extra bit of life. Song order is very important on albums, you need to make sure the whole thing flows nicely and doesn't begin to drag towards the end. Not On Time is so uplifting on the album as well as a single song on its own. There is a proper feel of a fists-in-the-air anthem to the song. The tenth and penultimate song is called Monotower. The intro to the song is a nice, slow build before Resolutions really get going with some more booming vocals. There is a great maturity to the song; it really feels like Resolutions are a punk band for the older, more grown up punk as well as for a younger audience. I guess at the age of thirty I now fall into the older punk group. Finally, Weightless is completed with the song Daily Train. This feels like a final song – it pulls out all of the stops to make another fantastic song with big drums, fun guitars and some more singing-along. I really enjoyed the chorus with the extra vocals added. They're subtle but add another dimension to the song. Group vocals always go down well with me, they makes me feel included and that’s always nice.

There are so many fantastic new bands I'm discovering from mainland Europe, Resolutions being one of the ones I've heard the most about. They are definitely worth the hype. Yes, a lot of bands are doing the gruff melodic Hot Water Music punk now but that's by no means a negative thing. Especially when it's as good as Weightless.

Stream and download Weightless here: https://fondoflife.bandcamp.com/album/weightless

Like Resolutions here: https://www.facebook.com/weareresolutions