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by Keavin Wiggins

Piebald falls into the category of bands that we love to cover here at Meaning, a band that flies below the radar of the mainstream but still manages to amass a large underground audience and never disappoints their faithful fans. Now with the release of their third full-length album they are ready to take the world by storm. 

The band has found the perfect home, Big Wheel Recreation, a label that was instrumental in launching the careers of Jimmy Eat World, At The Drive In, The Hives, and The (International) Noise Conspiracy. This time around they were given the resources they needed and headed into Q Division Studios with producer Paul Q. Kolderie (Hole, Radiohead, The Pixies) and the resulting album, “We Are The Only Friends We Have”, shows us an indie rock band in their prime, producing the best music of their career.

Is the world ready for Piebald? That is the Sixty-Four Million dollar question, but undoubtedly the group’s hardcore fans are pleased with the direction the music has taken. While they still flirt with the invisible line between emo and hardcore, Piebald don’t seem restrained by genre definitions, lead vocalist Travis Shettel reflects on the recording of this album, "We have finally created the album we've always wanted to.  Every time we go into the studio, we have these huge incredible ideas and they just never pan out due to time constraints within a small studio. This time, with Paul, every idea we had was possible.  And the outcome is something we are all very proud of."

The band has come a long way since they formed in Andover, Ma in 1994. Some speculated that they had reached the end of the line, when they failed to produce new material after the release of their 2000 EP “The Rock Revolution Will Not Be Televised” but now it appears that long absence was a time for regrouping and refocusing their energy as well as fine tuning their songwriting. 

One listen to “We Are The Only Friends We Have” and you know that Piebald is notch above their contemporaries. With hard-edged guitars that pack plenty of power yet sound amazingly melodic mixed with Travis Shettel’s “emo” vocal style creates a great backdrop for songs that tackle various topics, ranging for the smart-ass to the profound. 

When you would expect a stripped down, stick to the basics sound, the band instead delivers an incredibly full sounding album, that would make Phil Spector and his famed “wall of sound” jealous. Sure you get plenty of guitars and drums, but you also find a surprising amount of other instruments that really expand the sound, and one listen to “Fear and Loathing on Cape Cod” you begin to wonder if Piebald is touching off an entirely new form of music. Think the multi-instrumental production of the Beatles meets the angst of Weezer. 

While Piebald don’t stretch their credibility to the limits to achieve mainstream attention like Blink-182 and Sum 41, “We Are The Only Friends We Have” has that magic element that could very easily put these guys on the top of the heap. Piebald’s youthful exuberance seems genuine but you have to take songs like “Karate Chops For Everyone But Us”, “Sex Sells and (Unfortunately) I’m Buying”, and “Look, I Just Don’t Like You” with your tongue firmly planted in your cheek. On the other hand, they can also be serious like when they deliver the beautiful acoustic guitar ballad, “It’s Going Get Worst Before It Gets Better”, a song that could prove to be their breakthrough single in much the same way as “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)” propelled Green Day into the mainstream. Simply put, Piebald deliver music that is credible but doesn’t forget the free spirit and fun loving roots of rock n roll. 

Sure, Piebald’s music may not be for everyone but regardless, the bottom line is Piebald gives us a great album that beats the hell out of the million selling artists on the top of the Billboard Charts. Hat’s off to Piebald on a job well done! 

More Piebald

Visit the Official Piebald Web Site

Listen To/Purchase Piebald Music 

Photos Courtesy of Piebald 
All Rights Reserved 

Keavin Wiggins is the founder and Managing Editor of the iconoFAN Network

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