Melville absolutely blew it out of the water when they released their single “Pickup Artist” back in July. The first taste of their upcoming album, The New Zero, was nothing short of awesome. It was catchy, fun, and surprisingly deep. With the band starting off on such a strong note, fans could only hope the full album would be just as great. Spoiler alert: they will not be let down.
The Portland-based band will be dropping The New Zero on August 18, which will feature twelve tracks of their unique west coast rock meets Americana aesthetic.
“Televised” opens the album up on a high note, with spine tingling guitar, a beat to dance to, and Ryan T Jacobs’s ever impressive vocals. Note the way the band plays around with guitar distortion, incorporating it effortlessly into their sound. It’s easy to miss, but adds a whole other layer to the song. The lyrics are deep, equating the potential failure of a relationship to the literal end of the world, which all too often is the case for those in the grips of one.
This is a song for those afraid to fall in love again because they fear the worst, and its message to them is to not let the expectation of tragedy get in the way of something that could be beautiful. After all, “the end as you know it will not be televised,” and the outcome of any given relationship can not be predicted from the start.
“Heart” is a beautifully orchestrated confession of love in song form. The melodic guitar and heartfelt lyrics mesh perfectly. As with Melville’s other works, there’s an extra layer of depth. This song is not a simple love song, but the song of a heart who cannot let go of the love felt for someone who doesn’t seem to reciprocate it.
This can be seen in the chorus, when the line “tell it to my heart, he’s the one who’s not listening” is passionately repeated. At this point it becomes clear that the intricacies of love and all the pitfalls will be a running theme throughout the album.
Melville has this amazing ability to tell a story through their music, and “Claws Out” really showcases this trait of theirs. The lyrics paint a picture of a lover who is always unsatisfied in their relationship no matter what. A litter over halfway through the song becomes overcast with a layer of static, a stylistic representation of the disconnect that is being described.
Following the previously reviewed “Pickup Artist” comes a track fittingly titled “War.” This song keeps with the established theme of uncertainty in relationships, only this time instead of coming from the POV of the smitten party, the singer is the one unhappy. He fights to stay in love with his partner, but is not sure how to do this. He stays out late, and is clearly slipping away from what can be assumed was once a happy pairing. The song itself, like the other tracks on the album, is remarkably catchy, if not a little upbeat for its subject matter.
The last song on the album, “Forked Tongue” opens up with a strong, distorted guitar before the drums kick in. The band plays around with sound effects in this track, with various atmospheric inclusions springing the song. The beat is sure to get the blood pumping, and it’s hard not to sway along. Definitely a strong note to end on, the lyrics are poetic, the guitar is tight and over all it’s such a fun song.
The New Zero is set to drop August 18, which isn’t far away at all. Fans should have their calendars marked and be ready for some introspective listening.