Sound — 9
After the release of their highly rated debut album Everything Goes Numb, Streetlight Manifesto were welcomed into the ska scene with arms wide open. It wasn't long before fans were in demand of a sophomore release. This demand wasn't met for years, until now, with the release of the highly anticipated Somewhere In The Between. Upon the first listen, it is hard to pick out the 'best' track as every track on the album is guaranteed to bring a smile to your face. Down, Down, Down to Mephisto's Caf is a perfect example of classic Streetlight Manifesto. An instant sing-along, the track is certain to tear your head apart with its catchy vocals, horns, and guitars. The Blonde Lead The Blind has by far the most upbeat horn tune ever heard on any ska song -- ever. That tune alone makes the song worth listening to, and promises to make the track a certain live favorite. Listening to the album, it is easy to pick out different influences the band may have used. For example, it seems that some of the songs give the impression of being slightly System of a Down-esque, but in a ska-y way. An example of this would be the fourth track Watch It Crash, which has a stunningly powerful ending. On ending track What A Wicked Gang We Are, the guitar can be said to be to some extent 'metal-ish'.
Lyrics — 9
The lyrics for this album, in contrast to the instrumentals, are relatively menacing. Examples of such sinister lyrics range from death and the afterlife (Would You Be Impressed? and We Will Fall Together), abuse and self-harm (The Receiving End Of It All) and losing religious faith (The Blonde Lead The Blind). Although the lyrics may be of a satirical nature, they are incredibly interesting to listen to, and sometimes even funny. This is a good thing, of course, as it means that the album is thrilling not only because of the instrumentals, but also because of the lyrics. The unhealthily catchy title track Somewhere In The Between displays lyrics such as So you were born, and that was a good day; Someday you'll die, and that is a shame; But somewhere in the between was a life of which we all dream; And nothing and no one will ever take that away commenting on cherishing and living life to the fullest. One of the more satirical songs on the album, Forty Days talks about loneliness and rejection from heaven due to 'tasting' the seven sins: And nobody's going to hold your hand on the day you die; I've tasted seven sins, so they won't let me in; I knock knock knock until my knuckles are bruised and raw; Stuck in the middle with my blood in a puddle on the floor.
Overall Impression — 9
The second record release from the New Jersey seven-some meets all expectations and more. The bands exceedingly catchy brand of upbeat pop ska is once again perfectly executed on their sophomore release with a perfect mix of horns, guitars, bass, drums, and vocal melodies. This record is the perfect ska album and is a must have for any music fan.