Published Jul 09, 2020Seattle is a humongous harbour for hard rock. When you think about all the bands that have sailed out of it over the years, names like Pearl Jam and Soundgarden will probably come to mind, but several newer bands are trying to set sail from the same saltwater, including Advertisement. Their debut studio album, American Advertisement, is a bold mix of indie, garage and experimental rock, and it showcases a talented group of people who need a more focused sound to reach their full potential.
The songs are very guitar-driven, and they employ a wide range of tones to deliver energetic, melodic and thrilling leads, such as the solo on "Days of Heaven." The vibrant bassline takes the lead in "Always,'' the smooth drum fills shrine in "She Was Dead," and the fun synths stand out in "Freedom." Alongside this instrumentation is a singer who expresses a lot of attitude without ever losing control of his voice.
Although each musician shows heart and technical prowess, the album's structure means that it falls short of greatness. The first two songs are mixed well, but plenty that come afterwards are kind of confusing. "Shipwrecked Hearts" presents too many contrasting melodies at once, and "Upstream Vocals" delivers vocals that are too quiet relative to the other instruments, obscuring the words and overall meaning. Elsewhere, songs like "Tall Cats" and "Always" enlist so many different sounds that they overwhelm more than excite.
Once Advertisement gets a better idea of how to balance all of their moving parts, perhaps they will fully live up to their hometown's hard rock legacy. (Patchwork Fantasy)