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We’ve Been Strangers
Artist: Awake! Awake!
Label: Downloads only
Tracks: 9 Tracks/35:27min

This five piece hailing from Murfreesboro, Tennessee, have been receiving pretty good reviews in their local press.  So I was looking forward to hearing what they had to offer.

This time I wasn’t disappointed.

Here is a bit of background first. The rock/new-wave/power-pop/pop-rock quintet hail from Murfreesboro, TN, with the current line up being David Johnson - Lead Vocals; Andrew Goodwin - Guitar, Vocals; Blake Noel - Drums, Hollerin; Dan Johnson - Guitar, Vocals; Andrew Kaiser - Bass, Vocals.  The former lineup had Joshua Parker on Guitar, Vocals and Chad Chrisman on Bass (who both helped record the debut album, but left the band on good terms in 2008). With influences such as Jimmy Eat World, Mute Math, Switchfoot, Copeland, and the Cure you can expect to hear some great tunes on this their second release.

I am listening to track two, Daylight, right now, and I swear it sounds vocally like Anberlin, and rhythmically like Mute Math mashed into their own sound.  The whole album is like this.  There are so many bands you can compare Awake! Awake! to, simply because they have created their own unique sound.

The blurb on their myspace page says, “With expertly-crafted guitar riffs, soaring vocals, skillful and steady rhythms, and poignant lyrics, Awake! Awake! has a knack for creating song after song that continues to resonate with their listeners.” I agree.

They remind me of when I first heard Anberlin.  I bought Anberlins’ second album on a recommendation. They actually didn’t get me the first listen.  However, after a couple I was hooked.  Awake! Awake! Did the same.  But after a few listens I think they are pretty amazing.

One of the amazing things to me is that this is an indie project.  Amazing because it is well engineered and produced; vocals are there to hear, guitars a clear not fuzzy, bass is not to low or distorted.  Not only is it well produced and engineered, but the guys from Awake! Awake! have created a well-crafted album musically and lyrically.  For a sophomore release this disc shows a lot of maturity musically and lyrically.  A sample of their lyrics is from the third track called Oceans (metaphoric for God/Holy Spirit):

Coming closer
Fading further away
All with the same glimpse of the unknown
As waves crash over and over
They drench your soul
They soak your soul
And you just don't know how deep
How deep this goes

With lots of radio friendly tracks you could only hope that some stations would pick them up. With songs full of hope and spirituality, Awake! Awake! holds heaps of promise musically, lyrically and with great vocals, I hope they can gain a greater audience and keep creating the stuff they do. 

Robert Boynton


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