The album has good vocals and well sung lyrics that do not jump out at you when first read, but the voice brings a good amount of life to them. The band has a melodic rock guitar instrumentation to them. One might call them melodic sensitive college indie rock (if one used words like that). There is a good use of piano by the guest that really helps the band out.
The first song has a good opening and was an interesting beginning to the album, and I was very curious to see where it went. Their melodic rock and well sung vocals are consistent throughout the album. They have catchy guitar riffs and soulful sincere vocals. The organ and piano are also consistently good. The album will not kick your ass as the voice can be a little regular at times, and the guitar progressions can be a little conventional at times, but the band seems to like what they're doing. They show, through good production, confidence in their performance of the album. Their songs are filled with hooks, good vocal arrangements, and are a pleasant listen. The solos have interesting catchy production. The vocals have an undeniable Beck sound to them, and the lead guitar work can at times sound like vintage George Harrison, tasteful and far from wanker. It is not groundbreaking, but it catches your attention in a pleasingly standard way. The album shows a laid back approach and adds a subtle, easy going chill drive to the songs. It goes far into melody and pop-iness, but does so in a cohesive way. At times it can be energetic, fun, feel good music, but it not above a good ballad of sorts (track 5 - ROOTS), and a Rod Stewart/Faces cover (track11 - OOH LA LA) which is executed very well and could easily be mistaken as one of their own songs. The album closes with a song (with Beck-ish tints) that is as good as a closing song, as the first is an opening song. Good lyrics and romance.
The album is a very good, cohesive, and confidently written album. It is intelligent and purposeful in performance and execution. It is consistently good from a very skilled band. It IS lay back, subtle, enjoyable, accessible, likable and NOT monotone, lifeless, soulless music from a dumb band.
They are good at using their guitars to execute sounds, and they seem to be in control of instruments throughout album. They have very good instrumentation and seem to have a very precise sense and use of it within their bounds. There is good consistent production on all aspects.
Lifestyle is considered their seventh studio album by Touch and Go Records, they consider it their eigth.
The album cover features people boarding a plane, and a deck of people watching them. The plane is in an open lot, and it doesn't look like a very big airport. Easter-ie, almost pastel colors are used. All people in picture look very familial. One boy stands alone. The back cover shows a school bus, and a Vanagon on the highway.
There is no vocalist listed in the liner notes of this three piece of guitar, drum, and bass band. There is a guest piano/organist Brett Grossman whom they've apparently worked with before. The album was produced by Heather Whinna. Steve Albini helped out.
Matt Peterson is a Staff Writer. Contact him at MattP@rockzone.com.