The Hanks - Your New Attraction
By Chris Stum
The windows in my car are down; Iíve got
the stereo cranked. The sound coming from my CD player is energetic and
bright but still quite punk. I head out onto the interstate and hit about
85 MPH......wait, back to reality. I actually live in Pennsylvania, own
a Mazda Protege (non convertible) and there is snow on the ground. I can
only wish for warmer weather and, well...more money for that convertible.
What is a reality though is the band that
I was listening to during my brief escape from life. In very real life
the band is called The Hanks. If you would have told me about the music
from The Hanks a few weeks ago, I would have said "Youíre dreaming, I havenít
heard a good band crossover into (as I like to say) "good time punk rock"
in quite sometime." Truth be told, many bands today always have some sort
of sad, depressing element in their music, but this band from Los Angeles
combines driving rhythms, killer guitars and great vocals to produce a
sound which is certainly music to my ears. If you havenít heard of them
yet, donít worry, Iím here to educate you.
The debut album from The Hanks entitled
"Your New Attraction" will be available March 8th on Caffeine Teen Records.
Energy, energy, energy, and more energy is one of the phrases that come
to mind when describing The Hanks music. The album begins with an upbeat
punk rocker entitled "The Only Thing Real". A perfect opener for this album,
"The Only Thing Real" rolls The Hanks right out of the gate, all pistons
firing. The vocals of Josh Grondin (Lead Vocals/Guitar) grab your attention
like an unclaimed Ben Franklin at your feet with lines like "You never
wanted to be just another failure." and "Never doubt what you feel, cause
thatís the only thing that is real." The album continues on with
a few mid-tempo numbers named "Sometimes" and "Bruised", both songs showcasing
sonic musical soundscapes and quickly shifting gears. A song that
really caught my ear was one called "Once Again." Although the feel of
"Once Again" may be a little darker than itís predecessors, it still continues
to define the band and help create a strong start to the album.
The vibe that The Hanks provide could be
considered as raw pop punk, high on caffeine but all the while providing
great songs that never get off track.
The vocals of Josh Grondin are sometimes
emo, sometimes just straight rock, but most of all, Grondin captures the
emotional energy in each song and portrays it perfectly. Along with lead
vocal duties, Grondin provides great guitar work that lies in each song.
The song entitled "Evaporate" is a great example of the sounds that The
Hanks are capable of. "Evaporate" may be one of the slower and songs on
the album, but the post chorus offers up delayed guitar lines and soft
muted riffs during the songs verse. "Evaporate" has the texture of maybe
the Psychedelic Furs or U2 but has enough modern edge to make the song
a standout of the album. The song "Bruised" is along these same lines,
great textures and sounds in true Radiohead style, but the chorus is "chunked"
up with drummer Shane Mayo and bassist Bryan Harris adding a heavier, rhythmic
Along with "Evaporate" the band does slow
things down a little more, but still manages to maintain a fresh outlook
with every song. The song "I Know" could be considered one of the few ballads
on the album, but it also showcases the acoustic side of the band in fine
fashion. I canít forget about the horns in "Mixtape" and "The Only Thing
Real" provided by Philip Katz. Just another element in the music of The
Hanks that truly sets them apart from the rest.
Songs such as "Throwaway" and "Turn Around"
wrap up the sound of The Hanks with more catchy lyrics, and guitar riffs
giving every listener a reason to come back for more. It is tough to have
a favorite song on an album which is filled up with great songwriting elements
and just good time punk music. The songs that The Hanks have produced will
stay with you for a long time and provide soundtracks to many moments in
The Hanks are just around the corner; this
is one attraction on its way up.
- Your New Attraction
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