by Keavin Wiggins
Piebald falls into the category of bands
that we love to cover here at Rocknworld.com. 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
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!
the Official Piebald Web Site
To/Purchase Piebald Music
Photos Courtesy of Piebald
All Rights Reserved
Keavin Wiggins is the founder
and Managing Editor of the iconoFAN Network