steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

The April Skies

"How It All Played Out" CD

WIAB Records

Genre: mainstream rock, rock/pop, alternative

July 30 2008

The April Skies play commercially appropriate rock music reminiscent of late nineties alternative radio acts like Matchbox 20 and Counting Crows. That means few risks are taken, but the execution is fittingly tight and professional. Most of How It All Played Out's songs have entertaining hooks, and lead singer Jake Crawford's voice is relatively effective if without guile. The main knock on this record is its lack of creativity - its formulaic professionalism leaves it at a loss for new ideas.

R.E.M.-esque "Shots" and Tragically Hip clone "Always Never Finished" are exemplary moments on How It All Played Out - well-produced, reasonably catchy rock songs that do their job but don't quite engage the imagination. The tracks with the most radio single potential are anthemic "X" and darker, grungy "My Love is in This House," while unmemorable "The Weight" could have been dropped and aforementioned "Always Never Finished" might have benefited from a shorter duration. The April Skies have the sound of a band that gets airplay on local rock stations and maybe scores a minor hit on a more national level, and that is nothing to shrug your shoulders at. Certainly, a lot of generic rock bands come and go, but not all of them can put together a competent song. And with that in mind, The April Skies can sleep comfortably knowing they've assembled a competent collection of melodic rock tunes. Still, one of these days they might want to try taking a few risks!

the april skies' myspace


Fun Fact: The April Skies share their name with a Jesus and Mary Chain song.

Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 9 tracks, 41:49, distributed by the label, released 2006]