Review By Kristine Volovsek
batteryboy recently finished their forthcoming Up for Air album. Stories of love being lost and found (or at least the hope of finding it again), the songs on this emotionally-driven indie folk rock album have been brewing in their souls since before batteryboy became a trio. The tracks on Up for Air generally start gentle, build you up with high energy and lyrics straight from the heart, and then gracefully set you back down while still delivering those little-skin-tingles at times. Cobey Rouse (vocals, guitar, drums), Shannon Frid (vocals, violin), and Eric Carranza (keys, guitar) completely complement one another’s sounds as batteryboy.
Up for Air begins with the song “Choosing Sides.” The lyrics “When winter steals your face, when nothing feels the same. I’ll be waiting on the other side for you” really stick with me. “Winter’s Gate” is Up for Air’s first single (check out the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ItLMZuUjGGs) I love the rocking guitar and the beat of the tambourine in the middle of the song. You can’t help but get into it. In “Just Enough,” Frid sweetly takes the vocal lead. It takes me until about half-way through “Cross Divide” before I really start grooving with it. But the song just continues to build and build until near the end where it sounds like a huge band reminiscent of groups like Polyphonic Spree or Architecture in Helsinki. All of Frid’s “HEY HEY HEY!”s and “oohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! Hey hey hey!”s are awesome.
In “Beautiful” batteryboy gets a little more country-y and for some reason all I can think about when I listen to “Cascade Sky” is the movie Into the Wild. I bet Eddie Vedder would dig that song. I love how a trio can sound so beautifully huge – like in “Symptoms.” The harmonies and steady keyboard chords are striking. “The Possible” tells of new beginnings and of trying to be comfortable with an unknown future. Rouse and Frid’s voices are the perfect pair in “From Up Here” and the chorus especially resonates.
Up for Air is a truly heartfelt album. Every time I hear something new from batteryboy I’m struck by how their sound is continuing to get more cohesive and intriguingly “their own.” I really like the direction batteryboy is going and growing in. The feelings and the words were always there, but by adding more instruments, harmonies, and more depth to the sound, batteryboy is making a unique footprint.
The release party for batteryboy’s Up for Air album will be at Icehouse on June 22nd (http://www.icehousempls.com/events/batteryboy-cd-release-show-w-bethany-larson-the-bees-knees/). However, you can check them out before that at the Stone Arch Bridge Festival on June 15th (http://www.stonearchbridgefestival.com/) and listen to Up for Air right now here: https://soundcloud.com/batteryboy/sets/up-for-air