Safety are far from a new band, but they’re new me. Heck, Greetings From the Sunshine State even sounds like a debut album title. Anyway, the band has been kicking since the early 2000s – which actually explains a few of the sonic comparisons I’ll make in this review of their new EP and first release since 2015’s released Congratulate Me, I’ve Lost My Mind .
To get to the core of Safety’s sound, start with a base of emo-punk a la Braid or Small Brown Bike. That emotion is central to their sound, but the energy is largely relayed through a more post-punk and somewhat indie vibe akin to Cursive or The Hotelier. The faster songs have an extra bounce to them with quirky, intricate guitar/bass interplay. The slower songs are structured around emotive drama that draws more from the early emo scene. While the band is from Florida, it has a Midwest tone. There are two vocalists: one with a shouty style fitting of post-punk, the other with more of an emo tone.
“Post-punk,” besides being a silly genre name, doesn’t really say much on its own. Safety show a lot of similarities to where that scene was in the early ‘00s: quick turns-of-direction but more fluid, less angular hooks. Marry that sound with dramatic emo-tinged punk that bellows lyrics like “Who is this stranger dressed in my clothes?” or “For you and me/ It’s Halloween/ forever.” There is an element of contrast in the band that is highlighted by the two different vocal styles. The interplay defines this EP, sometimes working nicely in tandem but sometimes they don’t align particularly well.
The more energetic, varied songs, “Songs of the Night Gator” and “Heat Lightning,” bookend the EP and showcase the band’s potential. Imagining a live show, these are the tunes where you’d be bouncing and watching the stage attentively, while the middle three tunes are more of the head nodding variety. Those middle tracks are ultimately penned around their lyrical strength, utilizing dramatic vocals and emotional pull rather than structural progressions. As I beat the “emo” reference to the ground here, the band nicely switches the POV from tradition, coming from a worried-about-others POV instead of the tired you-hurt-me angle. It draws influence from a lot of those traditional bands, but the end product sounds much more mature.
To be pretty blunt, this just isn’t really my scene. I appreciate it, but it hits me as middle-of-the-road. Anyone into the band’s mentioned will likely get more out of this EP than I do.
7.0 / 10
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