Originally published December 8, 2010 at 5:47 p.m., updated December 8, 2010 at 5:47 p.m.
- Saturday, December 11, 2010, 8 p.m.
- Bottleneck, 737 New Hampshire, Lawrence
- All ages / $3 - $7
About 35,000 people in this town are staring down the barrel of the most stressful week of the semester. No matter how hard you work, it just does not seem to make life any easier. Every once in a while you just need that escape from all of your responsibilities. This week, the ACBs are directly responsible for my freedom.
From the first listen, I could tell that Stona Rosa was going to be stuck in my head all week long. This collection of songs will take you through an array of emotions. The opening track, which discusses the dangers of Italian girls, sets the tone for this indie dance pop adventure. All I want to do is sing back-up vocals for the ACBs. Their infectiously catchy vocal melodies have infiltrated my brain. Pop songs are designed to be sung along to and "Stona Rosa" is full of melodic blueprints. The chorus of the third track, "Be Professional" morphs itself into somewhat of a round by repeating into itself. If you don't pick up the lyrics by the time the song is over, you probably aren't listening. There are quite a few repeated elements, each used in a manner that grows on you with each listen, like an army of small adorable creatures who latch on to you, one by one, refusing to let go.
Collectively, the songs definitely feel like they all belong on the same album. However, the ACBs have really showcased their versatility on Stona Rosa. The tempo and the dynamics of each song give the album its own unique rhythm. Stona Rosa starts off pretty kicking and doesn't slow down until the third track. Sure enough, everything picks back up in both dynamics and tempo with the next song, "Hold Phone." Gorgeous harmonies are laid over a sixteenth-note dance beat, underlined by a super relaxed bass line.
When I say relaxed, I mean like "Joe Cool" relaxed, cruising through the high school hallways without a care in the world, already tardy for class. I don't want to completely spoil the experience, but I assure you the roller coaster ride continues till the final note. Regardless of the track, you will be singing along and dancing at the same time. Please consult your physician if hips and/or mouth fail to move
My favorite track (for various reasons) has to be "Street Fighter II." As a kid who grew up in the 90s, it's hard for me to ignore a song title that refers to my generation's video games. Aside from the name, lyrically, "Street Fighter II" is essentially a break up song.
Having said that, I must inform you that this is not your standard, "I hate your guts, like a lot" break up song. Incidentally, it's also home to quite possibly my favorite guitar chord progression I have come across in awhile. Relax kids, there is a way to escape the mundane nature and frustrations of the day-to-day hustle. No matter how much your girlfriend hates your "laziness" or how many times someone calls you "immature", there are always the things you can return to for comfort. I would personally like to thank the ACBs for reminding me of those things –– like music, cereal and Street Fighter II.