The internet is a strange entity. Though there is very bad in it, it also offers good things. You can find all the news you need, games to kill time, and lots of outlets for keeping up with your favorite bands. Or, in Geoff Hunker's case, the internet can help you form your band. Yes, Hunker, the man responsible for the band's creation, used Craigslist to find the other bandmembers, and assembled Satellites & Sirens in Nashville, Tennessee. Add a signing to Word Records and an EP under their belt, and it adds up to their self-titled full-length debut.
"Breaking The Noise" has an overall pop rock feel, with some almost cosmic-like sounds throughout just about the whole song. It may not have been the best song to start off the album, as it doesn't have any sort of punch or hook to get the listener's attention. The following song, "Come On," would've been a better lead off song. It's a little more upbeat (almost like a Press Play song, but written better). It's mainly synth-driven, but keeps the pop rock sounds as well. "Take Me Back" drops the synth (until the bridge) for a song that just outright screams "radio single," as does "Anchor," which seems to have been constructed with no intentions of originality. "Light The Night" is catchy, and one of the better songs on Satellites & Sirens. It could almost pass as an Angels & Airwaves song (if it didn't have distinctly different vocals), just without the experience and music quality of the AVA guys. Still a decent song, though.
The next few songs all bring to mind particular bands. "All The Same" turns it up a little bit, with more of a rock sound. I'm almost tempted to mention Skillet as a "sounds like this" comparison. That probably wouldn't be too far off from the sound of the song, in all honesty. The only difference would be, again, the vocals aren't similar at all, and Satellites & Sirens carry more pop in their music. "All We Need Is Sound" continues with being rockier, with more of a Trapt sort of vibe this time around. I can hear a little bit of PAX217 in the verses of "Escape," with a lot of Pillar influence in the chorus. Oddly, "Vaudevillian" bears the slightest resemblance to Panic! At The Disco (the way they sounded before Pretty. Odd.) It's a really catchy song, with a dance beat in the chorus, and lots of "da da's" near the end with some guitar riffs that keep that pop flavor going. The album concludes on a softer note with "Hello Don't Go." It's one of those songs that you might hear on a movie soundtrack where the guy goes to the airport to stop the girl from leaving. The usage of the title in the chorus doesn't make a lot of sense ("If there's one thing you should know, hello don't go"), but the song serves for good inspiration to not give up on your life.
Now, while Satellites & Sirens may not be the most creative or original at making music, they do deserve some props for making a style of music that is in high demand these days, and using it for a greater purpose than many mainstream artists of the same genre. "Breaking The Noise" is an acknowledgement of God's love and His attempts at getting through to us somehow. "Light The Night" and "Hello Don't Go" are encouragement to friends to keep fighting. "All We Need Is Sound," however, has lyrics that are meant to be a call to arms of sorts, but don't go too deep or even give a reason for the call; almost like it's trying to generate an interest in something, but it has no idea what. But despite that one song, the group makes sure to hold on to the Savior.
For a pop album, this isn't too bad of a debut for Satellites & Sirens. It's got a lot to catch people, and it could be a hit on pop radio stations (maybe even contemporary stations for some of the songs). These guys may be sticking around for a while. But for a music fan looking for more than just pop hooks and polished vocals, this might not be what you're wanting. It's not terrible by any means, and they have a lot more potential than what's displayed here. I'm optimistic that in time they can reach it. But as for now, you wouldn't be missing out too much if you didn't pick this one up.- Review date: 2/28/10, written by Scott Fryberger of Jesusfreakhideout.com
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