Reviews The Measure [SA] Notes

The Measure [SA]


A recent SPB interview with Lauren Measure found that the band has released 18 pieces of wax so far in their career—yet Notes is only their second official full-length in that bunch. For being as prolific as they are, releasing a full album should be a big deal for the New Jersey four-piece. This one sees them making the jump to No Idea Records.

On Notes the band mostly sticks to familiar territory. They trade off between two vocalists, Lauren and Fid, offering hyper-speed pop songs with a focus on community, relationships, art, god, and politics, all with an honest, personal tone. A large part of this comes through singer/guitarist Lauren’s modest vocals that are often on the brink of quivering as she sings them. The lyrics are written in a not-quite-smooth-flowing style that draws attention to individual phrases by interrupting the cohesion just enough to give an air of unpredictability. At these junctures, she will twist her voice to keep the melody flowing despite the irregularity in a very unique way, exhibited in songs like “Unwritten” and “Fear of Commitment.” On a minority of the songs, Fid takes over the lead—rarely do both singers trade verses, instead opting for harmonies and a defined lead vocalist for each song. While less distinct than Lauren, he has a strong voice that offers a nice change of pace. His songs tend to be slightly more aggressive.

The band’s growth on the record is that it feels a bit heavier—the songs are still firmly rooted in pop-punk, but the rhythm section takes on a louder aspect that gives the band a little more kick and a little less quirk. The catchy bits that aren’t your typical refrain-based choruses but they capture attention in an intriguing way that requires more attentive listening than is typical of the genre and it may take a few listens before it fully clicks. The songs bounce between tempos well, with “Turning Point” serving as one of the heavier ones, while the final song, “Timburkulosis” has a slower beat that allows Lauren to open up her voice more, all the while never topping a length of 2:56. Meanwhile, the production has improved since their early records, and the melodic chops come through much clearer.

While the band aren’t exactly rookies, Notes solidifies their place in the current DIY scene with an extremely solid record that represents their songwriting without any glitches. It’s both a record that should win over new converts without disappointing their disciples.

8.0 / 10Loren
KFAI - Roar of the Underground
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