First names I thought of when I put in The Haunted Continents were Lenny Kravitz, King’s X, and Matchbox 20. The reason? Power pop mixed in with a pinch of soulfulness that comes from musicians and singers who know how to give it their all into their music, and that’s what you’ll hear on The Loudest Year Ever (Forrest Park Recordings).
This mixture of pop, rock, psychedelic, and folk may bring to mind bands like Weezer and Queens Of The Stone Age or even Foo Fighters, but they almost come off like a modern-day Love (Arthur Lee‘s band), which is a plus. The songs are filled with a lot of stories I think all listeners can relate to, done in a way where you want to feel for vocalist James Downes (who also handles guitars and keyboards). Drummer Matt Cascella maneuvers the ship and makes sure Downes gets to his destination with little to no distractions along the way. That’s it, the entire band is a trio and yet these songs move better than bands with five or six members, which comes from fine musicianship and just damn good songs. Even though the album is called The Loudest Year Ever, these guys are far from annoying or a nuisance, although there are times when Downes grinds his guitar to the point of making the strings pop. No, it’s not experimental or avant-garde, it’s simply a raw way to end songs that are beautifully conscious of itself.