In a few days’ time you will get a fresh batch of tracks from the frenzied energies of four rugged gentlemen adorned with their signature crowns of cardboard who balance thought provoking lyrics with hard hitting melodies. A splash of Ska flavour accentuates their punk sound. A multilingual masterpiece with a little something for everyone, Hold On will keep you reaching for the repeat button and has the potential to 180 any foul mood or fear.
The title track Hold On, opens the album strongly with tempo changes, memorable lyrics (we couldn’t get this one out of our heads for five months!) and strong vocals blending great harmonies. This track really showcases the Crown’s dynamic abilities.
The lead single, Little Voice builds with a strong bass back beat. The Cardboard Crowns have found a nice balance of catchy yet hard hitting music where your brain remembers them long after the song is over.This song speaks to that “little voice” or conscience that is suppose to help us but sometimes does more harm then good.
Silence seems fun and carefree but carries a great message of not wasting the life you are given because there is only one. There are instrumental solos that intermix in this party sounding track. Take away message of this impossibility catchy track is find your own path in life because in the end its up to only YOU!
Upbeat Vacances starts off reminiscent of a beach classic but half way through transitions into a gritty rock song with an important reminder that we shouldn’t live our lives focusing on fear.
Si-Triste comes out swinging with hard hitting drums, fast guitars reminiscent of the Real Mackenzie’s. The boys really showed their diversity by using a guitar’s strings to simulate that classic bagpipe sound.
Bring your dancing shoes for the appropriately entitled track, Dance. Where we are encouraged to not waste time with worries and just dance our cares away. Take away lyrics for this song for us are “it’s such a lonely road to trade heartache for battle lines”. Love the killer instrumental solo leading into a key change.
Silly Hearts is a walk down memory lane for the narrator. With a very danceable beat, gang vocals and highlights an awesome build in momentum to flawless harmonies. This song is crisp, dynamic and pulls on the heart strings.
Take the Blame contains poignant lyrics it stops the listener in their tracks. Using a simple melody and allowing the vocals to take center stage helps drive the important lesson home. This song will keep you thinking long after it’s over. Using vivid imagery the listener is left with very sobering desire to take up the torch and keep fighting the good fight.
Tired sums up many thoughts our generation has on a regular basis. This speaks to the struggle of balancing passion projects and the need and will to do whatever it takes to survive. That it seems you’re not working on your own goals and can feel unmotivated, especially when unexpected events happen. Tired highlights some key guitar and drum riffs. The musicality alone will motivate you!
Starting out with a familiar intro (we’ve heard it live) but the Cardboard Crowns seems to gain inspiration from the classic swing line from Royal Crown Revue’s Hey Pachuco for the intro to Panic. Listen to their music enough and you start to realize lead vocalist Rat Crown has a distinctive sound. During Panic this is evident yet is almost missed because of the tempo of the song. With Panic running short at barely 1:45, it sounds as though he had too much to say and not enough time in which to deliver the message. There is a very important message to be learned from this song, about complacency.
The ending track, Strangle slows things down for a bit. Cantering a Ska beat builds as the songs’ dynamics range throughout the track. It has a very punk rock edge that will resonate with many listeners.
Our stand out track on the album is Silence and Take the Blame.
Hold On was well worth the wait! The Cardboard Crowns continue to prove their live shows and lyrics are a cut above the rest. This is the album that will greet you at home after that bad day at work and always be able to put a smile on your face. The kind of therapy you can always afford and nobody can judge you for it.
Their first single Little Voice can be heard on their sound cloud page here.
Check out the DIY Crowns swag contest on their Facebook page!
Upcoming concert dates including their CD release party at Lee’s Place in Toronto on March 10th, 2016. To check out more dates see the tour poster below.
Coming soon: Feature photos of the Cardboard Crowns, Show Review of their April 22, 2016 show in Kingston ON.