Break out the stockings, get those presents under your tree and get the tissues as well because a few tears might need to be shed. InVogue Records are bringing something full of emotion for your holidays with an album featuring many of your favourite post hardcore/melodic hardcore acts to give you a nice dose of an emotional and angry december celebration!
Kicking off the record was In Her Own Words, starting things off a very pop punk atmosphere. The blend of happy guitar chords blended with piano and the jingle of bells is almost somewhat of a cheery experience until the lyrical content steers that away a bit with the chorus going ‘Don’t come home for Christmas / You’re the last thing I wanna see underneath the tree’, showing some sort of disdain towards a different party. Following that is Chase Huglin who brings the tone down a bit with a more softer and slower track. The acoustic guitar somewhat rings true and gives the whole soft a solid set pace to keep structure for alongside Chase’s voice hitting its powerful peak during the choruses.
Next up comes the spoken word soliloquy from Hotel Books who provides probably the first tearjerker of the record with a strong speech over ‘Silent Night’ which is played very elegantly on the piano. Speaking some home truths people might have about Christmas as well as his personal life about himself and his music seeping through and leaving you with one final shaky breath. This leaves you time for JT Woodruff to, step by step, bring you back into the fold. Whilst the tone is still somewhat dark, talking about his mothers passing and how he just wants his Christmas to be back with his family once more. The emotional turmoil definitely carries through from song to song and it surely gives that gripping factor for people to relate and hold on to, as some of us do take our Christmas’s for granted whilst others suffer with lost loved ones and lack of funds.
Up comes Woven In Hiatus, throwing a xylophone sound as part of the main lead melody whilst the acoustic guitar is the structural integrity of the song. The soft and delicate way the vocals are laid into the track are added nicely with a bit of reverb, making the words sound more poignant than others. Mark Rose is the only artist that most people will probably be going into blind, but this track probably sounds most like the christmas tracks you heard when you were younger. The swing beat, the somewhat jaunty vocal pattern mixed with the chord progression and it has a way from bringing the record through a different, nostalgic feeling that you might not have been expecting from this compilation.
Saying this song is the heaviest song on the record is a bit of a weird statement. Whilst Convictions are mostly known for bringing the aggression, this track definitely brings more of a melodic side, being reminiscent of Silent Planet in its instrumentation and the cleans feeling more raw than anything coming on this track. It’s the shining star on the top of this albums winter branches. Mirror Eyes provide you with the longest album title as well as the first female vocals on the record. The alternative rock band bring something on the same vein of Tonight Alive’s newer material and gives the record that much needed bounce again that wasn’t felt since the first track played. The guitar melodies work really nicely whilst you have the drums not overcooking it and making the whole track sound very well rounded.
Bringing the boogie to the holiday dancefloor is Punchline with such a dance-fuelled alternative pop rock jam that feels that wouldn’t just be for christmas (even though December is in the title). A definite mood-brightener if you had to pick that for any track, but to bring you down to the more existential feeling for any track is September Stories and their bare-bones feature. With it providing something strong as well as something simple, the penultimate track is such an enjoyable ‘slow-dance’ track, leading you into the Wham! cover that Courage My Love have provided is a well-placed set up. CML have given the song that alternative rock swagger that will give you a feel of what direction they might be going for the new record, with a more electronic/synth laden 3 minutes, it was a sure-fire way to end the album on a track most people would know.
This record is a definite purchase for many different reasons. If you like the artists, you should pick this up. If you want to hear something new and exciting from the mentioned artists, then its a must listen. With the BandCamp fees through till new years going towards http://www.jaycwsfund.org, its another reason to pick up this festival feeling fest!