Sound — 6
Ladies and gentelmen, meet the new band on the pop-punk block -- Denver Harbor! The band features former members of Fenix TX and is led by by singer/guitarist Will Salazar and guitarist Chris Lewis, plus the brothers Aaron and Allan Rubin on bass and drums correspondingly (formerly of '90s punk band F.O.N.). Denver Harbor is a semi-known band, thanks to their 2003's self produced 5 tracks EP. Last year they were luckily signed to Universal and started work on their debut release with producer Mark Trombino, famous for his work with Good Charlotte. On October 12th, 2004 the world wide music library has got one more CD -- Scenic -- the first major release of the young, but skilled band Denver Harbor. The general conception of this record is less than different from the mainstream -- a slightly agressive pop-punk tunes with good vocals, mixed up with every possible punk-related genre: alternative, grunge, harcore punk and emo. It's a good sign when a band doesn't stick with one genre, continuously imporving style and sound. Though it's not our case. The record is literally overfilled with sounds -- it's about all and nothing. Though some of its aspects worth the attention. For example, the attempt to mix the punk tones with the reggae -- track "Outta My Head" -- and the "punk lullaby" -- sixth track "The Ride." Scenic features two notional parts -- the first part is more rapid and racy side of the album, including the most brisk and vigorous tracks -- from the opening "Xenophobia," through "Picture Perfect Wannabe," the above-mentioned "Outta My Head" and the last one "Satisfied." The second part is represented mostly with unhurried and melodic tracks, including three ballads -- "All I Want," "Way Back Home" and "Twenty Six." Remaining tracks are fulfilled with middle temp smooth and measured sounding. The quality of the sound is above average as it's a professional studio record plus a proper guy with "producer" nameplate. Overall, Scenic is not a challenge to the thousands of pop-punk bands, it lacks of individuality and newness.
Lyrics — 4
The lyrics on Scenic are not too intricate but rather so unsophisticated and funny (what is an ok practice for echelon of resembling bands). Listen to that part of "Picture Perfect Wannabe"'s chorus: "Cut your hair and change your name/rock and roll is dead again," hehe. The guys put a few love themes -- for instance, listen to the "Let You Go" track -- and a few serious lyrics -- like on "Way Back Home." All the rest of the album's tracks is absolute abracadabra and rubbish. As to the vocal skills of Will Salazar -- there is nothing particularly worthy to be praised. He has an ordinary good voice with nothing special.
Overall Impression — 4
Honestly, we have just one more record which is similar to the world famous pop-punk bands' releases of the past. Having recorded Scenic three to five years ago, Denvor Harbor could have some success, but not now -- the market is overfilled with "scenics". As I've said earlier, the album is totally generic, without even vague allusion to innovations or experiments. From the quality point of view, Scenic could be considered as the success -- we know that they can do things skilfully, and that's already a half of a good record!