I believe I reviewed some split tape release this band did a while back; I don’t remember it being as nearly as awkward or jangly as what I’m hearing here. Forward, Always reminds me of Jeff Ott’s earlier solo output, but only if he lived in a weird half-lit world where his stuff wasn’t quite acoustic but he wasn’t quite ready to kick the distortion pedal on yet either. The end result is an odd mish-mash of great “take flight from the things that bum you out and embrace the things you enjoy” styled lyrics unfortunately set to some pretty bland folk punk with a wincingly bright high-end and nary a hook in sight. I like the stark packaging, I like the down to earth sentiments they’re throwing around, but the gravity of the vocals coupled with the lack of musical impact just isn’t grabbing me this time around.
–keith (Sharpie Fumes)