Album Review :
A Current Affair - The Real Devastation

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Band: A Current Affair
Title: The Real Devastation
Label: N/A
Release Date: August 2009
Review By: Scott L

Tracklisting:

01. Life Of Me
02. Explorer
03. The Thief
04. The Real Devastation
05. The Search

Let me start things off by saying that I’ve liked these guys ever since I stumbled across them on iTunes towards the tail end of 2007. I thought that “Life In An Hourglass”, in spite of a couple rough spots, was a great release and helped me to choose to interview the band for one of my first few postings to the IVM site. Typically, I don’t do a very good job of following most bands… that’s why I don’t post news. So when out of the blue I got an e-mail from these guys with their forthcoming EP in tow, I was both surprised and seriously stoked.

In case you need a refresher, A Current Affair is not a TV show. Well, it is… but this isn’t that. This is a 5-piece out of Fresno, California that’s set to release a brand spanking new 5-song EP entitled “The Real Devastation”. And how sweet it is. As I said, I liked their first release, but this new EP is an improvement in every area. Seriously. From the vocal tones to the guitar levels, from the thickness of the bass lines to the nice tight sound of the kit… the mix is superb and the EP’s rockin’. Even the cover is cooler than “Life In An Hourglass” and that’s saying something ‘cause I thought that was a pretty cool cover. And what’s cool also is that looking at both covers side by side, there’s a definite sense of continuity. Which is a nice touch that shows that these guys are into the details.

Style-wise, let me say that the sound has lost it’s screamo elements and they’ve opted for a more melodic feel. Rest assured that this doesn’t mean that they’ve gone soft. And you’ll know exactly what I mean when the first track kicks off. They’ve accomplished a perfect balance. This is what you call addition by subtraction. I’d put them in the same general category as bands like Saosin, Ivoryline, and Silverline. It’s an edgier style of rock with a heavy feel that still manages to maintain it’s equilibrium.

Lyrically, “The Real Devastation” is a mixed bag. A Current Affair doesn’t explore any uncharted depths of creativity on this EP, but they do craft a set of five songs that speak to you on a number of levels. These are songs that deal with everyday issues and situations that we all face from time to time. Fears. Hopes. Joys. Doubts. Here’s an example from the song “Explorer”, it says, “every road has come to an end / and it seems as though I’ve reached every one of them / and I have no words to describe / how bad I want to be myself / but in this mirror I see somebody else”. Or there’s “The Search” a desperate plea that closed out the EP, “my face is buried in your hands / and I’m falling to my knees tonight / wishing to be more than what I am / just trying to find my place in life / am I stuck here waiting on you / I’m wasting away here / and it’s true that what I’ve said is something I cannot do / you’ve already said I’m not that strong / with everything I’ve done so wrong / I’ve already ran so far from home / will you be the one that finds me”.

The standout track was hard for me to choose. But, like all tough decisions, I sucked it up and chose the EP opener, “Life Of Me”, which kicks things off with all the subtlety of a Butterbean haymaker. That bass line should come in a Happy Meal box ‘cause I’m lovin’ it!

My only complaint is that if you’re gonna make me wait two whole years between releases… at least give me a full length for my patience. But, oh well, I shouldn’t complaint… quality over quantity, right? And quality it is.

Overall: A Current Affair is set to make a serious splash with the release of “The Real Devastation”. This was simply an outstanding CD and one of the best I’ve heard so far this year. I can live without the screamo, no problem, because what they offer in place of it is so much more than they lost. So mark your calendars and start saving your pennies ‘cause next month A Current Affair will unleash some devastation. It’s coming and it’s coming strong.

www.myspace.com/acurrentaffair

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