A-Sides
"Silver Storms"

(Vagrant Records 2007)A-Sides - Silver Storms

Whoever said all major labels were bad news all the time? For The A-Sides, signing to large independent label Vagrant Records seems to have done the band some good. Forget Vagrant cast-offs like Alkaline Trio and The Get Up Kids, this is something different. Making yet another step forward and leaving their last album, "Hello, Hello," behind, The A-Sides' "Silver Storms" shows of a more serious and mature side of the Philadelphia band while retaining their Beach Boys style sound.

The band leaves themselves plenty of room to roam on tracks like "Diamonds," "Amazing Grace" and "My Heroes Have Always Been Crazy," letting the dreamy melodies wander together for a rich and mellow result. Vocal harmonies keep the background of "Cinematic" busy while the slow strummed guitar chords build up with the instrumentation on "A Florida Grove." On "Great American Novelist" and the piano accented "Through The Ocean," The A-Sides go for a relatively more upbeat sound and add gentle vocal melodies.

While melodic and light throughout, no one can accuse The A-Sides of going pop as, if anything, their sound now more resembles indie rock. Fellow Beach Boys sound a-likes Rooney only wish they had The A-Sides' depth. While rather short on hooks of any kind, The A-Sides remain stoic on "Silver Storms," as though determined to make a serious album that is both polished and succinct. Assuming they are still having fun, The A-Sides show with their multi-layered sound on "Silver Storms" that they know exactly what they are doing.

B+

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