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Music Reviews

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Review by Tarynn Law | June 9, 2012 at 10:00 AM

Rising from the ashes of vocalist Andrew Albert’s previous band, Holiday Parade, is Bonaventure. Together with multi-instrumentalist Dan Smyers, the duo have released Come Hell or High Water, a strong debut sure to impress older fans while drawing in new ones. Recorded in Nashville with producer Dan Hannon (Manchester Orchestra, A Rocket To The Moon) and mixed by Jeff Juliano (John Mayer, Train), the EP’s five songs are tinged with a southern flair.

“Gaining Speed” kicks the album off with a build-up that explodes into a pounding drum beat as Albert sings, “Sometimes I wonder just what I am searching for.” The lyrics introduce what seems to be a common theme throughout the entire EP — the search for one’s true identity and place in the world. However, the song goes on reassure us that there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel with hopeful lines like “I will get by / I’m slowly gaining speed, I’ll keep my head high.” The EP continues on with lead single “I Dare You,” arguably the most rock song on the EP. “I Dare You” sounds like it could fit into the top 40 next to the likes of Train and Mat Kearney with Albert’s soaring vocals and Smyers’ incredible musical talent.

The second half of the EP slows things down a bit with “Running With Nothing,” “Come Hell or High Water,” and bonus track “These Shoes.” “Running With Nothing” is a bit more somber than previous tracks with lyrics about heartache and the struggle to make tough situations work. The title track explores the trials and tribulations of finding oneself yet again, and persevering throughout all of it to emerge a better person with all of your friends right there alongside you. “These Shoes,” the first song ever released by the band, is dripping with catchiness and will get stuck in your head after your first listen. This song would be the perfect introduction to Bonaventure for someone who had never heard them before — it’s a little bit country, a little bit rock and roll, and just catchy enough to be in your head for days.

Seamlessly creating a perfect blend of alternative rock and just a hint of country, Bonaventure have made an EP that will have new listeners enthralled while keeping older fans from the Holiday Parade days satisfied. It’s a wonderful introduction to just what Bonaventure is all about. Listening to Come Hell or High Water feels like hearing from a good friend you haven’t spoken to in a long time and suddenly realizing just how much you missed them — a warm, welcoming feeling.

Rating: 4.5/5

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