Since it’s a little slow for releases in San Diego here at the beginning of 2017, I decided to start the year off with a review of a local release that was passed over from the 3rd quarter of last year. To be clear up-front, this is not a punk record although it has some root elements of the genre. After breaking up 8 years ago, The New Addiction reunited to go to work on a new, decidedly alt/pop/rock, EP titled Filters. Since that time, they have played a handful of shows to support the release at various venues around town including The Soda Bar, The Merrow, and perhaps more notably at The House of Blues with The Spill Canvas.
The release wastes no time with drawn out intros or ambient build ups as many artists do these days. Instead the opening track titled Faces dives right into a solid groove with a guitar melody reminiscent of something The Knack would play. The guitars are open, the vocals are melodic, and it all leads into what is probably the most catchy chorus on the release…and I emphasize *catchy*! It’s nicely phrased and lyrically cool, exactly as one who enjoys a good sing-along would hope for. The track is consistent throughout with a small breakdown at a minute and forty seconds and a great unexpected pause that sucker punches you square in the nose outta nowhere at 2:25. I love this track!
Next, things seem to heat up a little. Receiver dials up the gain on the guitars and brings a little more attitude. I don’t mean this in any sort of over-the-top paradigm shift type of way, but just enough to stand out as the singer shouts, “turn my god-damn radio off your receiver!” The vocals are stylistically reminiscent of something Arm the Angels used to put out. It’s another safely solid track with a half-time break down at 2:10 worthy of toe taps and body shakes! The New Addiction does a really nice job showcasing diversity and depth from song to song with Faces leaning firmly in the alt pop realm and Receiver shifting to more rock based tones. The subsequent track is further evidence of a wide range of influences.
Bringing yet another flavor to the table, Cornerstone sounds off with a slow-mid-tempo reverse double time snare beat and a dirty baseline that thumps away against distant sustained guitars saturated in reverb. I’ve listened to this EP several times, but looking back to my first spin, I remember spacing out on this song thinking that I was listening to a different band. More specifically, I thought I had downloaded a single from Minus the Bear and forgot that I had done so only to have it pop up on an mp3 shuffle and surprise me. The almost shoegaze-esque guitars and vocals did deceive me and it wasn’t until the chorus that I snapped out of it as the band brings back more of a signature The New Addiction sound. It’s a sound that showcases a certain degree of maturity and thoughtfulness that no doubt comes from many years of writing and arranging music.
Three in a row…tic tac toe! …and the EP goes on to deliver, in total, seven songs that are more than worth checking out. Again, this is not a release for punx to grind and thrash to. Rather, it’s a respectable alt rock EP put out by some fellas who clearly care about their craft and strive for professionalism. …absolutely nothing wrong with that!
4 out of 5 SDP Skullz
Reviewed by Todd Dulawan