Listen Up: Are Excuses Excuses the Next Big Thing in Radio-Rock?

The surprisingly Canadian (hearing them I thought British for sure) band Excuses Excuses made waves with their previous few singles, especially earlier this year with ‘Far From Perfect’. Capitalising on that success, the band are releasing their much anticipated debut album this coming Friday. We managed to get a sneak peak of it and, if the singles so far from it are anything to go by, this is going to be good! Check it out with us down below!

The band waste little time with their opening track, ‘Say’. Opening on a pretty fun riff, the vocals soon come in over the top, walking the line between indie and hard rock pretty masterfully. It all builds through the catchy verse and pre into a huge chorus, the echoed vocals making it sound massive. Speaking of the vocals, the lyrics are great, a fantastic ‘be yourself’ anthem. The brief guitar solo bridging the gap between the 2nd and 3rd choruses was fun, even if it did just follow the same melody as the vocals. Still, it’s an effective way of making both more catchy and memorable. Then we get a final pre and chorus to take us home in style. Good stuff to start the album with, and easily playlisted!

The title track bursts right into the chorus, full of attitude and swagger. A call not just to ‘Listen Up’, but also a call to arms, this track perfectly encapsulates the whole feel and message of the album. The guitars dropping out for the verses is a very well used trope but never gets old, and it works perfectly here. The pre is somehow even catchier than the chorus due to the fantastic backing vocals, the band channeling their inner Queen or Muse. It’d be great to hear live. Even the bridge is catchy. The whole track screams massive radio hit, which is perfect given the lyrics. Another fantastic song and another that makes its way onto our playlist!

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‘Feeling Sorry’ is another typical heavy indie rock track. Bouncy, lower verses build up into huge, catchy choruses, with plenty of great lyrics across both. The structure was interesting though, given that it was essentially just verse-chorus three times and then done. In and out in just over two-and-a-half minutes. Straight to the point and I love it. We even get a scream for the last second of the track, which I was not expecting. Good stuff!

‘My Nicotine’ is a little slower paced but channels the same sort of energy as the tracks proceeding it. It’s a love song this time, in case you couldn’t guess from the title. The lyrics are well written and it’s a catchy track. I’m struggling to say much more about it, it’s pretty standard but great radio rock! I guess it’s a ballad, and a good one at that!

‘Wasted Alone’ is another slower track, opening on an almost sleazy guitar riff before the vocals come in over the top. It’s a nice touch to break up the album with something different and it honestly sounds great. The drums come in before the verse ends and turns it into ‘just’ another ballad, but that intro was certainly cool. From there it’s fairly similar to the previous track, but I’d argue it’d make a better single, it’s definitely catchier vocally. The guitar solo, while short, was a nice touch too!

‘Breakdown the Silence’ is another typical indie/punk rock track. Then we reach the final two singles of the album to close us out. ‘Meaning of Life’ is another slower track but all of the vocal lines will be stuck in my head for the rest of the day. They’re so memorable and well written. It’s the most indie track on the album so far but to my surprise it’s my favourite. It makes the playlist.

Then we reach the final track, ‘Hardship to Sail’. It’s very similar to the previous track. It’s mid-tempo, fun and catchy. It is just a little samey and not quite as good as the previous track, in this writers opinion. That being said, it’s a fantastic way to close an album, epic, memorable and just a damn good track. The build-up to the final chorus is fantastic and adds to the pay-off perfectly. Plus, the gang vocals in the background of the final chorus makes everything feel more granduous and final. A good closer, but I wish the second half of the album had a little more umph. One more faster track would have been perfect.

Overall: I really enjoyed this. As not typically a fan of indie music, there was enough grit and heaviness here to keep me entertained and make me want to listen to it more. The guys are already making a big splash in the underground scene, but if they keep going like this they’re going to be massive sooner rather than later. A short, to the point album packed full of good songs, catchy vocal hooks and some good riffs!

The Score: 8/10

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