For Fans Of
We Are The In Crowd haven’t had much time to slow down since they released their debut EP Guaranteed To Disagree back in 2010, and now they are back with their much talked about debut full length Best Intentions. "Another generic female-fronted pop rock band" I hear you groan, and with the rate that they are popping up, your lack of excitement might be warranted, but give this album a spin and you might just disagree.
Album opener, and previously released single, ‘Rumour Mill’ provides the perfect start as it rockets the energy right up to 100 from the get go. It is the perfect opener as it encompasses the band’s signature sound, and the feel for most of the album, in one track. It is a punchy, fun, up-tempo song that showcases the playful vocal banter between lead vocalist Tay Jardine and male vocalist and guitarist Jordan Eckes as well as the bouncy, tight instrumentation of the rest of the band.
Next track ‘It’s Not Goodbye, It’s BRB’ can be forgiven for its cheesy title. With it’s stripped back opening it allows both the vocals to shine before heading into a big, up tempo chorus showcasing the way pop rock really should be, before it was over run by auto tuned vocals and synth machines. The song structure for most of the album is very much the same. Simple instrumentation in the verses allows the vocals from both Jardine and Eckes to lead the way before powering into bouncy, catchy choruses. Though this isn’t a bad thing, as it definitely works for the band.
It is the slower, more ballad like songs such as ‘See You Around’ and ‘You’ve Got It Made’ that test this young band, while still showing that they can hold their own in the world of female fronted pop rock bands. Jardine’s vocals are just as well suited to this style as they are to the upbeat poppier songs on the album with her controlled vocal gymnastics and sound akin to that of Paramore’s Hayley Williams (the comparison had to be made somewhere). It also gives the band a chance to take it down a notch and show off their knack for soft, smooth instrument lines. But when Eckes is left open, with not much instrumentation carrying him, the weakness in his vocals is evident. While his vocals take a backseat to Jardine’s in skill, he is still the perfect second half to this vocal team, and We Are The In Crowd wouldn’t have that little bit of extra flair without him.
Closing track ‘Better Luck Next Time’ proves that We Are The In Crowd definitely saved the best till last. With the energy back up, the band showcase an attitude and spunk not seen on the eleven tracks preceding it. This time they turned the pop down and turned the rock up, ending the album with a track the promises so much more from this young band.
With Best Intentions, don’t expect any curveballs in the direction of reinventing the genre, but that isn’t always a bad thing. We Are The In Crowd have found the perfect formula for creating great pop rock tunes. They combine simple, catchy lyrics, with playful he said she said vocal banter, carried by fun, bouncy guitar, bass and drum lines that will leave you dancing and singing along for days after the album has stopped spinning.
Best Intentions is an album stacked full of fun, energetic and infectious tracks. While We Are The In Crowd may not be bringing anything to completely new to the genre, sound wise they have captured the fun, catchy elements of “pop” and the spunky attitude of “rock” and combined it in a way that makes a great debut album, and only promises bigger things from this young five piece in the future.
1. Rumor Mill
2. This Isn’t Goodbye, It’s BRB
3. The Worst Thing About Me
4. Kiss Me Again
5. On Your Own
6. All Or Nothing
7. Exits And Entrances
8. See You Around
9. You’ve Got It Made
10. Better Luck Next Time