Day Fourteen: “Safe For Now” – The American Scene

When I was in high school one of the biggest laments I had in regards to the local music scene was that everyone around me was either in metal or ska bands. Though San Francisco has played an important role in punk music (pop punk as well) it seemed as if the east coast was the only place churning out the genre. If I’d known bands like The American Scene existed, I might’ve actually stuck around. These guys are Berkeley natives and the represent the city well.

Safe for Now has easily become one of my favorite albums to drive to. Between songs like “Just Say It”, “Hungry Hands”, and “Used to You”, this album makes every expedition worth it and with ten only ten songs, it’s easy on the ears.

Matt Vincent’s voice is indomitable. You literally feel the conviction behind his words as he recounts stories of love, heartbreak, and bouncing back. Charles Vincent’s drumming brings the music to life. The guitar work on this album is fantastic. Not only do they sound great tonally, (there’s some light distortion and some echo) but also the role they play here is key. While it’s more apparent in their follow-up release, Haze, one thing I noticed, and am personally interested in trying, is that some of these songs are bass driven. Instead of guitars carrying the weight, the bass does the work as the guitars create ambiance (not too dissimilar from Explosions in the Sky). For the most part there’s your typical rhythm guitar and a more prominent lead but there are precious moments where both guitars play different or harmonizing riffs and it sends the emotion over the top.

They make me proud to be from the Bay Area and give me hope for the scene. I hope to see more from them in the future.

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