Reviews Sam Russo Back To The Party

Sam Russo

Back To The Party

Anytime it’s just one person on the stage, the music being created is going to be intimate and personal. Sometimes it’s so personal that it doesn’t bridge the gap from the stage to the floor. Fortunately, Sam Russo isn’t one of those artists. When he sings, you know it’s about his own life experiences, but it sounds like it’s coming from the “we” perspective. It’s heartfelt, raw and honest, but it’s also communal.

Back To The Party is Russo’s third full-length and comes courtesy of Red Scare Industries. While Russo plays in the punk scene and fits the bill of “acoustic punk singer”-type, his music leans a little more toward traditional folk than some others under that label. His voice is potent with strong range. He sings and his songs aren’t just punk tunes unplugged. That point stated, it’s still the we’re-all-in-this-together tone with flourishes of cynicism, anger, and longing that fuels most modern punk that I listen to. Opener “Purple Snow” establishes that tone right off the bat, with themes of friendship, reflection, and connection.

Back To The Party at its best when its vocal movements segue into earworms melodies from the heart. In “Tears,” Russo’s vocals rise and fall with emotion, paired in tandem with well-laced dynamic shifts that billow with powerful movements and whisper with soft regrets. Textured but subtle backing instrumentation adds to the overall atmosphere but it’s always really about Russo, his guitar and his voice striking that personal connection. At times, it’s more singalong and hook-based, as in “Corporeal Gloom,” which has the standout refrains that would fit on a punk bill, but they’re followed by an inward glance and shattered perspective; the mission: to put those shattered pieces back in place by the end of the record, “The Basement.”

Called back to the party, it’s not exactly a rager of a record but it does offer glimpses of positivity, the kind that people find when awakening to a bright new day after a downer of a night. It’s filled with emotion, reflection and, most important: growth. So pick up the broken pieces and get back to the party, y’all.

7.3 / 10Loren
KFAI - Undead
Leave a comment

7.3 / 10

7.3 / 10

Share this content
Related features

One Question Interviews Sam Russo

Posted Nov. 20, 2014, 12:08 a.m.

Sam Russo SPB: How do you primarily find new music? Russo: I still find new music the way I always have -- on the road and ...

KFAI - Root Of All Evil
Recent reviews

Real Numbers

Brighter Then EP

7.7 / 10 Real Numbers - Brighter Then EP album cover

Last year took a toll on many, many people. It was rough. It was angry. It was painful. And most art reflected that.Sometimes it’s necessary to take a deep breath, ...

Debt Neglector

Bad Faith EP

7.0 / 10 Debt Neglector - Bad Faith EP album cover

Debt Neglector put this new digital EP into the world in late 2020, in part to help raise funds for Fair Fight before the Georgia runoff elections. It has five ...



8.0 / 10 Dikembe - Muck album cover

Gainesville, FL’s Dikembe have been playing around the scene for quite a few years but I’ve never actually checked out their recorded material. I saw them back at Pre-Fest 6 and enjoyed ...

Related news

Records New video, new album from Sam Russo

Posted March 24, 2020, 6:57 p.m.

A new video from Sam Russo's soon-to-drop new album Back To The Party is online now. The video is for a song titled "The Window" from the new LP ...

Tours Red Scare's West Coast Roast

Posted June 16, 2019, 1:59 p.m.

This August Red Scare Industries will celebrate its 15th annviersary with a label showcase tour along the US West Coast. Elway, Ramona, and Sam Russo will play the entire tour ...

Records Sam Russo to release Greyhound Dreams

Posted Sept. 9, 2015, 8:07 p.m.

Acoustic performer Sam Russo will release a new LP on Oct. 9 titled Greyhound Dreams. Out on Red Scare Industries, the new album will include 10 all new songs.



Looking for the SPB logo? You can download it in a range of styles and colours here:

Click anywhere outside this dialog to close it, or press escape.