Overall Score: 7/10 Toe Tapping: 9/10 Guilty Pleasure: 7/10 Musicianship: 6/10 Pros: Cheery, happy and very catchy pop rock Cons: A little cheesy, dodgy production
The Only Way We Know is the second album from four piece pop rock band Fourth Quarter Comeback – think Something Corporate meets The Summer Set and you’re on the right track. The album has a happy, optimistic feel which is sure to have gets teenage toes tapping and hearts racing.
The sassy energy of this collection of youthful, bright-eyed pop-rock hits you instantly. ‘Back To Sleep’ opens the album and immediately announces Fourth Quarter Comeback’s power pop credentials – a touch of teenage angst set against crunchy, melodic but predictable guitars. It’s a strong start and demonstrates that Fourth Quarter Comeback know how to insert a few neat hooks in these twinkling, lightweight rock tracks. Angst-y anthem ‘Hold Your Breath’ is also catchy with the air of youthful summer excitement. Penultimate track ‘New Girlfriend’ has a string intro and poppy vibe which sounds a bit like Carly Rae Jepsen‘s ‘Call Me Maybe’ via All American Rejects. This certainly isn’t a bad thing – if The Only Way We Know sells half as many copies as ‘Call Me Maybe’ they’ll be laughing all the way to the bank!
Single ‘Awake’ is an acoustic, lighters-out strum along that’s either going to be your favourite or least favourite track. It’s not bad per se but it never really sees to get out of second gear and, although you can imagine it being entrancing live, on record it didn’t grab us.
While ‘The Only Way We Know’ has strong tracks, it also has a cheesy almost predictable element. The lyrics of ‘All In’ are full of casino/poker references, which is a nice concept but as the metaphor gets more and more stretched it begins to feel a little forced. ‘Drama Queen’ is probably the most up-tempo rock-y track on the album and, while it’s not exactly Slayer, you can imagine the dance-floor getting shook up…just a little bit!
Andy Garcia’s vocals are probably the star of the show, along with the bright production could easily fit into a full-blown pop album. One criticism could be that the constant layering, harmonising and all round effecting slightly obscures what sound like an already great vocal. There could be a case for a bit of ‘less-is-more’ in future because the vocals seem strong enough to stand without them.
The Only Way We Know is far from life changing, but it is a pleasant album to listen to. It’s not reinventing the pop-rock genre, but rather stands as a shining example of its best aspects.If you like happy music with really infectious choruses then this is the album for you!