Saturday, January 29, 2011

La Bella Charade - All Friends, No Fans

La Bella Charade is a pop-punk band from St. Louis.  They released their full length debut album, All Friends, No Fans, in early January.  Prior to this record, the band had put out a five song EP.  The EP introduced this quintet as the group that had the potential to overthrow the once reigning kings of the genre, Fall Out Boy.  Their debut album has a similar sound as the EP, and contains the standout track "I'm The Choir, Quit Preaching To It".  With this release, La Bella Charade will most likely find themselves with an overwhelming amount of both friends, and fans.

All Friends, No Fans opens with "When, Not If".  I found myself humming along to the chorus the first time I listened to it.  That's a big accomplishment for any artist.  The track, like most of the album, is high on energy.  From start to finish, there really isn't a rest.  The band plows through every song as if it was their first.

Produced by Bryan Beeler, the album feels technically sleek and smooth without losing every bit of raw energy.  It's a balanced improvement from the band's previous releases and just sounds tighter.

Unfortunately, a few of the songs do blend into each other.  Towards the middle of the record, you may get weary from the vocal melodies.  The breakdown-like bridges, found in songs such as "In It To Win It", help pump some variety into the usual song formula.

The final track, "End Of Story", clocks in at over thirteen minutes.  This song proves that La Bella Charade may be a lot more than just your average pop band.  While it ends in a humorous conversation, the progression of the song is one of the album's highlights.  The guitar solo that slowly transforms into piano completely took me by surprise, and I loved every minute of it.

All Friends, No Fans throws La Bella Charade into the spotlight of the pop-punk genre.  It's a catchy ride that packs a punch.  You'll also find a surprise or two along the way,  If you're a fan of bands along the line of All Time Low, Fall Out Boy, and Jimmy Eat World, then you should give the record a listen.

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