Review: Souvenirs, ‘You, Fear, and Me’
Debut records are an interesting beast. They are, more often than not, some of a bands best work. There are a number of things that go into this: debut records are usually a culmination of something they’ve worked for, and it’s a record with something to prove. If the music industry was Ancient Rome, a debut record would be a gladiator. This is a band you may have never heard of, finally competing for your attention. And they want to make sure they get it.
This year alone, we’ve seen incredible debut records from bands like Somos and Moose Blood. These are record that belong on everybody’s AOTY lists, and Souvenirs may have just added another. Their debut album ‘You, Fear, and Me’ is out today on Other People Records, and shows us a band that would have taken the world by storm in the mid 2000’s. They aren’t quite what the mainstream would have considered rock, but they aren’t a pop band either. It’s this sort of blurred genre line that would have helped catapult them to the top [of their genre] alongside bands like The Killers, Fall Out Boy, and The Academy Is.
Souvenirs fall under the spectrum of Indie Rock, but they definitely lean more toward the rock side of the genre. In the short time they’ve been a band, they’ve drawn comparisons to acts like Braid and The American Scene. It’s the songwriting that has helped to draw these comparisons in. Their songs are explosive in all the right places, and incredibly vibey when they need to be. Souvenirs aren’t trying to be something they’re not, and they’re not writing music for everyone. They’re making music they love, and that really shines through on ‘You, Fear, and Me.’
The first standout track on the album is “A Mile High.” This one song will show you where the comparisons to The American Scene come from. The music has a nice groove to it, and definitely has some movability to it. The song has such a mellow vibe to it all around, and those soft/smooth vocals really send it over the top. This was actually released as the first single for the record, and it’s very easy to see why. This song is either going to draw you in or send you packing, and it showcases everything that you will come to love about Souvenirs should you decide to stay.
Bass driven songs are always some of my favorite. I don’t know if it’s because I can dance to them in my chair when nobody’s looking or if there’s something more to it, but I love them. That being said, “Gradient” is one of my favorites from the record as well. The verses are punchy, but smooth in delivery before throwing us into an explosive chorus. This song is incredible, and if it doesn’t get released as a single some time in this albums lifespan, I will be so upset. It would be a missed opportunity, and I know kids would eat it up in a heartbeat.
If up until this point you didn’t believe me when I said that this band could have been everywhere in an earlier decade, get ready to change your mind. The title track “You, Fear, and Me” is huge. It’s got that radio ready chorus and repetition that would appeal to the masses, but the songwriting is so phenomenal that fans of smaller bands in the genre can appreciate it.
We’ve got one of the best Indie records of the year from Souvenirs. ‘You, Fear, and Me’ is a record that will garner plenty of attention in it’s own right. The songwriting is incredible, the hooks are huge, and the music is infectious. There is no doubt that this record will make a few surprise AOTY appearances. Whether or not it happens this year or as an honorable mention on next years is something that we’ll have to wait and see. Personally, my list is looking pretty shook up right now.