Morning Over Midnight
After starting 7 years ago, working their socks off gigging furiously, building up a huge fan base and releasing EP's and an album on local labels, this versatile 'new' band from Arizona finally have their just reward. A deal with Virgin, and their first major full length, "Morning Over Midnight".
Influences are obvious, and they include some of the bands that Fivespeed have toured with (the likes of Finch, Jimmy Eat World and At The Drive-in) as well as citing The Deftones, Jane's Addiction and even Willie Nelson themselves, the band however do have a clearly defined sound all of their own.
"Fair Trade", is the opener. As you'd expect, it's high tempo stuff. But from just this one track you can tell the band have been together for more than 3 ½ minutes and have a quality within them to write well structured, melodic yet powerful music. Lead vocalist Jared Woosley, displays the flexibility of this bands talents with a voice seemingly comfortable with just about anything requested of it.
The title track is a cleverly crafted piece and a potential future Anthem for the group. It has all the necessary ingredients; foot taping speed, good breakdowns, enough overdriven chugging and rasping chords to satisfy even the most demanding listener and a great melody backed up by some thoughtful harmonies.
Another positive trait the band possess is that no two songs sound alike. Woosley puts this down to the collaborative way in which the band compose, "Everyone in this band is involved in the writing. And we each come at our songs from very different places. When it all comes together, it's very distinct." The whole thing is extremely well polished but not clouded enough to sound squeakily over produced.
"Lost In Vegas", "Touch of One" and "Misery Loves Company" show a more sensitive side to the bands approach and again only go to show that when you strip away the layers, Fivespeed could cut it with anyone.
If you're a fan of any of the new breed of Alternative Rock currently doing the rounds, then you may want to part with some hard earned notes, as Fivespeed are as complete an outfit as I've heard for some time.
'Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing)' arrives in April.
The two awards have made for a great 72nd birthday present for the country music icon.