Monday, April 8, 2013

"Killscreen - Non-Fiction - EP" Review by Dom

Formed in 2008 Killscreen is a pop-punk band from Beacon "Tree City", New York, the same area that fellow pop-punk band With the Punches comes from. Non-Fiction is the band's second EP following 2012's All in Your Head - EP, which was a solid EP that lacked the proper production to really make it a force to be reckoned with. That's not to say it isn't without good songs, fan favorite "Fireworks" seems to come to mind as does "E.W.I." and "See You Next Tuesday". This new EP comes out less than a year after the first, which some may call rushed but 20 year old guys are ambitious. The band is comprised of Juan Espinosa (Vocals), Kyle Cullen (Guitar/Vocals), Dan "D-Wright" Wright (Guitar/Vocals), Tyler Derken (Bass) and Alam Virk (Drums).

1. Loopers - Right off the bat the first thing you notice is the production, it's much better on this EP, with a clean, composed and focused sound the track quickly sticks in your head and forces you to sing along even after just the first listen. What else jumps out at you is the progression that Juan has made as a vocalist, his vocals sound stellar on this track.

2. Scranton - Starting with some harsher vocals courtesy of Kyle the song moves into a more fun, uplifting song about your love being too far away from you. The sincerity of Kyle's lyrics in the track is enough to pull emotion out of the most stubborn of people.

3. Falconer St. - An ode to hometowns and that one street we all grew up on. You could almost rename the track "Your Hometown Address" as the track brings up your memories of home, old friends and most importantly happier, better times.

4. Letters - A sweet love song with a nice featured verse from Tessarose Talaber that is heartfelt and sincere, not much more could ask for.

5. Non-Fiction - The aptly placed title track is a track that pretty much says: "I'm here, I mess up daily, but I'm not going anywhere." The track is a great closing song that leaves you in a good mood that leaves you determined and productive, and a song that makes you want to keep trucking through life when it gets hard as clearly evident by the end of the chorus: "The sun pulls me up in the morning, reminds me that a new day was made for me."

Vocals: Juan's vocals took a huge step in the right direction, with an accessible sound with conviction coming out on the right words there's nothing to complain about. Kyle's harsher, sometimes screamed vocals give the tracks that need it a certain grit that really helps songs along that need more aggression.

Music: The music for the most part is your standard pop-punk feel, light, uplifting feeling, yet fast enough to get your blood flowing and your limbs moving.

Pros: Good ol' fashioned pop-punk fun, great vocals, great lyrics, and great catchy songs.

Cons: I'm hoping for an acoustic version of "Letters" which would take the song to the next level for me, also with Tessarose on the acoustic as well. Also I think there's room for a more screamed aggressive song where Kyle takes the wheel and also a surprise breakdown thrown in, which in retrospect isn't a con for the album, more like a hope for the next release.

Overall: This band has the potential to be the pride of the Hudson Valley musically and the potential to be the next Wonder Years if they play their cards right. When looked back on I think this EP will be where future fans see that the band really formed their sound and their style.

Rating: 4.5/5

Notes: If you're in the Hudson Valley the band plays shows regularly. Follow them on Twitter(@killscreenNY) and Facebook(KillScreen). Also head over to BandCamp to download this EP for free/name your price(link below) and over to iTunes to download the All in Your Head - EP for just $4.95!


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