Sound — 10
Personally, I really dislike most of the "pop rock/alternative" music that has been surging through the radio, television, and internet as of late, but this band has really changed my perspective on pop rock music. I started listening to this band after I received a Victory Record's sampler and I must admit that I thought Alidia (the vocals/keyboard) was really hot so I was like "Hey, I'll give this band a shot." After listening to "Garden of Evil," I was instantly hooked to this band and decided to order the album from Amazon. I must admit this is a really good album for a genre that I strongly have a distaste for. The band's vocals consist of a 40-60 (female-male) split and this really separates this band from the mainstream pop rock bands out there today. This band also utilizes an array of different effects on their guitars and the keyboard/synthesizer mixture adds a surprisingly unique sound that no pop rock band is currently using. For example, this band uses classical country instruments, like the banjo and the mandolin, to add a really catchy melody to their songs and their use of percussion instruments also adds a nice depth to their songs. 1997 is not really a technical band but they do have a lot of catchy riffs and bridges. I must say, at first I was a little skeptical of this bands sound, as their male vocals strikes a resemblance to the male vocals of "The Hush Sound", however, the unique composition of the actual music itself overshadows this tiny flaw.
Lyrics — 8
The lyrics on this album are not the best but they are very catchy and written perfectly for a pop rock band. As mentioned earlier, the vocal duties are split between Kevin and Alidia and this combination truly gives this band an edge when compared to much of the other pop rock bands which only utilizes male vocals. The female vocals also adds a really nice harmonization to the male vocals and it really balances the entire album. Kevin sounds like the dude from the Hush Sound so I really can't say much about the male vocals but Alidia has a really incredible voice that adds a really unique and catchy vibe to the rest of the songs. She may not sings like the chicks from American Idol but she really has a good voice that complements Kevin's quasi-Chicago male vocals and her singing abilities are highlighted throughout the entire album.
Overall Impression — 9
Like I said earlier, this band's lead vocals bears a striking resemblance to the male vocals of the Hush Sound but the female vocals really separate them from much of the pop rock bands out there today. As with much of the Victory pop rock artists, this band comes from Chicago and they have some resemblances to their label mates, June, The Audition, SpitalField, etc, however their unique utilization of musical instruments and mixture of male/female workers really makes this album a remarkably savvy album. The album art, by the way, is really nice and I loved the way that lyrics were printed, really rustic and sloppy but nice. In short, if your looking for a pop rock band that won't make you puke then this is the band.