Comfort For Change Stories that didn’t hit the page… (Self-released)
By Martin Cizmar
It’s not often a local band without a record deal delivers a product as polished as Comfort For Change’s Stories that didn’t hit the page…
It’s not just the production – though Larry Elyea of Mind’s Eye recorded, mixed and mastered this disc immaculately, living up to his many accolades – it’s the songs, too.
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As a prog-rocky piano intro gives way the thunderous opening chords of “Knife’s Capade” it’s clear these guys have something going for them. Then you hear Richard Carlise’s pitch-perfect vocals, equally good with a growly Drive Like Jehu scream or a towering Panic At The Disco chorus. In fact, in “My Statement” you get both in lightening quick succession. The fact that those bands –which sound nothing alike – both make the Wikipedia entry on emo, just shows how amorphous a term it is, but, however you define emoness (unless you, for some reason, include Sunny Day Real Estate) Comfort For Change would have a good chance of making the cut.
The album’s third track “Open Your Eyes” features some nifty tempo changes as raspy guitars play leapfrog with driving bass. The fourth, eponymous, song is another of the album’s standout tracks, a sing-along chorus emerging from noisy versus. “Remedy” isn’t quite as catchy, and has a little too much fancy playing for my tastes, while the down tempo “Find My Way Back Home” has great vocals, but feels incomplete, a bass noodle dominating between verses where the band’s usually robust sound works best. “Sentimental Blood,” comes out much better, creating a bittersweet mood that suits the band but isn’t explored elsewhere on the album.
Overall, Stories that didn’t hit the page…is a mature effort from an up-and-coming local band. Though Comfort For Change’s sound is far from fashionable, to me they recall the best bands of their post-hardcore-leaning-prog genre, groups like Coheed and Cambria and At The Drive In. If that’s your bag, you’d do well to check them out at Thursday’s Club Kaos Halloween Party at Martini Ranch.
By the way, you may want to check out some video of the band playing at Edgefest. Go about a minute and thirty seconds in to this video shot by Benjamin Leatherman.