ALBUM REVIEW: THE AUDITION ‘CHAPTER 2’
The Audition’s debut LP “Controversy Loves Company” was released through Victory in September of 2005. From January 2008- March 2010 they released three more full length albums including; their second full length LP entitled ‘Champion’ (January 2008) which made it on the Billboard 200 list, 'Self-Titled Album' (April 2009), and ‘Great Danger’ (March 2010). In January of 2009 it was announced that original bassist and founding member Joe Lussa would be leaving the band. Bass duties were handled by Tim Klepek and the band continued for this period as a four-piece. Besides playing Warped Tour in 2006, 2007, and 2008, they have also played with acts such as; The Academy Is..., Silverstein, Mae, Head Automatica, Jack's Mannequin, New Found Glory, Boys Like Girls, All Time Low, Valencia, and We The Kings. In September 2011 the band announced that their original bass player, Joe Lussa, had rejoined the band and that original guitarist, Seth Johnson, had left and is now replaced by Jimmy Lopez. The Audition was signed to Victory Records from 2005-2011 and during that time they released four magnificent albums, but those years are now behind them and they are now “on their own.” I say that in quotes because, after having completed their contract with Victory Records, they started a Kickstarter and with the help of their fans they met their goal, plus more, and were able to record their newest EP titled “Chapter ll”. While some people might disagree with bands using Kickstarter to make money off of fans, I want to believe that bands that genuinely have talent and a passion for music will use the money to their advantage and put out a record that everyone will be proud of. So let’s support The Audition as they take on “Chapter ll” of their music careers. You can now purchase it on iTunes, Amazon MP3 and other digital music services. If you haven't had a chance to read the interview I did with Danny Steven's, a few months ago, then you can read it here.
With no hesitation ‘Who Do You Think You Are’ starts off the EP strong with Stevens shouting out, followed by very strong and confidant guitar work. While the lyrics are still somewhat defiant, the energy and passion that Stevens’ always stays true to hasn’t vanished. The song is a true betrayal song, about someone running rumors all over town.
When they released ‘You Make Me Sick’ as a demo a few months ago, it was no surprise to me why they picked this song as their first single. The album version of this song cleans up very well and in true Audition format, the lyrics are impossible to get out of your head. It is by far the catchiest, and best, song on the album.
‘EVIL’ might be the riskiest song on the album, as it starts out with a demonic scream and then Stevens’ rapidly proceeds to belt out E-V-I-L; talking about a “pretty young thing trying to cast a spell.” For having such a darker meaning behind it, it sure has a fun sugary pop influence, “…and even though you said goodbye, I left myself open wide to invite you in and take my soul/ make me weaker than I was.”
‘Back and Forth’ starts out strong with heavy drums and then transitions smoothly into having a country/pop twang to it. This song has a really strong guitar solo that almost sounds like it belongs on an 80’s rock n roll song. One of the things I admire about this band is they have a way with words that make songwriting look easy, “you’re in, you’re out, you’re gone with the wind.” The song is about, basically, a relationship gone awry, “...cuz you left me, after begging for me to stay in your selfish ways.”
The slowest song on the album is ‘You Gotta Believe,’ it starts out with a slow and sweet electric guitar that is almost a treat for the ears, and then slowly proceeds into the drums and guitars. “I can’t keep on loving you, because I am what you love to abuse/ but I lost the fight as hard as I try I know this war is over/ you gotta believe at least I tried.”
‘Talkin'’ is a straight up rock song. It starts out with a sing-a-long “woah oh oh ohhhh” and from there it doesn’t lose momentum. This song goes back to the dark EVIL theme; “everything around me is going to hell and we are too/can somebody save my soul/give me a little bit of rock n roll.” It then goes into saying how the person’s being hypocritical; “what you got to say to me? / why don’t you practice what you preach/ you only know what you want to know, you only see what you want to see.”
While this album stands alone and doesn’t compare to any of their previous, it isn’t groundbreaking. I, personally, would love to see more of the songs like ‘You Make Me Sick,” and more albums like “Champion.” They have this wonderful skill on writing these magnificent pop influence songs with very catchy hooks and clever metaphors, that I didn’t see too much of on this EP. The main theme I noticed on this album was of failed relationships and betrayal, all while using hell-raising metaphors. I understand how they’ve gone through some tough times. but I want to know where their happiness went. I want to encourage them to go find their happiness and then start writing. I have a feeling this is only the beginning of what the Audition can do on their own.
Best Tracks: You make Me Sick, Who Do You Think You Are
Their tour starts today with headliners Every Avenue, and support from Plug In Stereo, and Simple As Surgery.
Feb14 - Cleveland, OH - Peabody’s Down Under
Feb15 - Pittsburgh, PA - Mr Small’s
Feb16 - New York, NY - Highline Ballroom
Feb17 - Springfield, VA - Jaxx
Feb18 - Worcester, MA - The Palladium
Feb19 - Philadelphia, PA - Theatre of Living Arts
Feb22 - St Louis, MO - The Firebird
Feb23 - Lawrence, KS - Granada
Feb24 - Denver, CO - Marquis Theatre
Feb25 - Salt Lake City, UT - Club Sound
Feb27 - Seattle, WA - El Corazon
Feb28 - Portland, OR - Hawthorne Theater
Mar01 - San Francisco, CA - Bottom of the Hill
Mar02 - Orangevale, CA - The Boardwalk
Mar03 - Anaheim, CA - Chain Reaction
Mar04 - Anaheim, CA - Chain Reaction
Mar06 - West Hollywood, CA - The Troubadour
Mar07 - San Diego, CA - Soma Sidestage
Mar08 - Las Vegas, NV - Hard Rock Cafe at The Strip (no WATIC)
Mar09 - Mesa, AZ - Nile Theatre (no WATIC)
Mar10 - Tucson, AZ - The Rock (no WATIC)
Mar11 - Albuquerque, NM - Launchpad (no WATIC)
Mar20 - Orlando, FL - The Plaza Theatre
Mar21 - Atlanta, GA - The Masquerade
Mar23 - Cincinnati, OH - Bogart’s
Mar24 - Chicago, IL - Bottom Lounge