Sound — 9
The arrangement of the sound on here seems perfect in the sense that the band members aren't fighting for the limelight of each track. There aren't over-exaggerated drum beats, over-powering guitar parts or anything like that -- they actually work as a team. The opening track, The Box, sets the standard for what I mean; from the beautiful keyboard part to the snare-based drum beat -- everything is balanced. Another aspect that seems to run throughout this recording is that there is no fixed style or tempo for the music. A lot of bands suffer from doing the same thing throughout an album, making it boring (Razorlight's "Razorlight" album, for example), but Eastern Conference Champions keep you listening by constantly having differences in the music. At one point in the album, you have Stutter which (at first) sounds like a classically written piano piece. Straight after that, you have Single Sedative which is based more around the Indie rock scene. It's a hard thing to pull off, but ECC seem to pull it off very well. There's also a great transition in Some Sorta Light, where the song starts off sounding like an acoustic unplugged session, but ends up turning into a masterpiece of next-to-perfect production. The only bad thing about this song in particular is that the drum beat seems to echo that of The Box -- probably the only seriously repeated thing in this album.
Lyrics — 9
Josh Ostrander has a very unique singing style which gives him a great edge, in my opinion. A lot of people like a band to have a singer who sounds like nothing they've ever heard before, and Ostrander stands out in that respect to a great degree. His singing, however, isn't as great as it could be. Just listening to songs like Noah proves my point. Ostrander seems to try to hard to use the vibrato in his voice and ends up sounding as though he is nervous. On the other hand though, he can reach those notes that require him to stretch further and push his boundaries. His vocal melody is pretty good too, which is shown throughout the album. The lyrics themselves sound very well written to me and show no need to be criticized. They show true meaning and link into key subjects and point throughout the songs, which is good as it allows individuals to relate to. The only bad song for lyrics has to be Pitch A Fit, which sounds like a great song, but needs some work lyrically.
Overall Impression — 9
For a debut album, it has got to be described as a masterpiece. I don't think that Eastern Conference Champions will be able to repeat a phenomenon like Ameritown again, but I would still like to see them try. The placement and production of every track on here seems well thought through and I can't find any mistake with it (from a production point of view). If anybody's looking for new blood on the 'Indie' Rock scene, then have a listen to this and you'll know that you won't need to look any more.