Album Review :
Abandon Kansas - We're All Going Somewhere

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Band: Abandon Kansas
Title: We’re All Going Somewhere
Label: Gotee Records
Release Date: September 8, 2009
Review By: Scott L

Tracklisting:

  1. The Harder They Fall
  2. I Wonder If It’s Me
  3. Make Believe
  4. We’re All Going Somewhere
  5. Months And Years
  6. Close Your Eyes

There are some things in life that just keep you coming back for more. Deviled Egg Potato Salad, good hockey scraps, and season ending episodes of Lost; just to name a few. There are also some bands that you just can’t seem to get enough of. Abandon Kansas certainly fits that bill.

Fresh off signing with Gotee Records, Abandon Kansas is a 4-piece out of Wichita, Kansas that plays a cerebral brand of indie-rock. Let me state right off the bat, however, that this 6-song release is a serious departure from their previous sound. Settle down… it’s okay. I’ll ease you into it. They’ve added a bit of polish and a whole lot more punch. And as a result, have honed their style into a fresher and fuller sounding hybrid indie-rock. This is not You Build A Wall, I’ll Build A Ladder part two… not by any stretch of the imagination. It’s better in every possible way. Bolder. Edgier. Sharper. And far less cautious. Abandon Kansas has let the monster out of the box.

Now knowing that this band has garnered a large and faithful following over the years might make this new direction seem a bit risky. Will they alienate their fan base? Will they cash in their ingenuity or individuality? Will they miss the mark and fade away into the nameless ranks as just another has-been and once-was? Rest assured… they pull it off. The new sound not only fits the market like a glove, it’s indelibly defining. In a market teeming with sound-a-like bands, Abandon Kansas’ new vibe sets the hook and holds you steady from start to finish.

While obviously subjective, I’d put the reinvented sound somewhere along the lines of Faulter’s edgier side meets Far-Less while still maintaining a certain Jon Foreman-esque vocal style. One of the things that immediately jumps out is how current the sound is. It’s always nice to see Christian bands that aren’t two steps behind the general market.

Lyrically, Abandon Kansas shines creatively but doesn’t really impress from a spiritual standpoint. That seems to be the case with a good many bands these days. The songs are thoughtful and well-structured for the most part, but largely superficial. Take the title track, “We’re All Going Somewhere” , as an example… “I was a man in a boat / carried along by the wind and the waves / the only question is / should I steer / pull my wheel to the shore / still the current drags me away / if I just let go will I still end up here / we’re all going somewhere (x2) / I just hope that somewhere is safe”. Cool images for sure, but ultimately forgettable. Luckily, the music carries the day.

Here’s the bands’ thoughts about their message, “We don’t just write songs about love or breakups, or the cliché things that you hear over and over again. We try to write about the deeper places of our hearts, asking questions of the listener, rather than just giving answers. If we can cause someone, when the music is finished, to contemplate their life, their motivation, and their soul, then we have done our jobs. We can’t complete the journey for the listener, but we can open the door.” I’ll let you be the judge as to whether they succeeded or not.

The standout track on this EP was “Close Your Eyes” which is amazing. Yeah, you heard me right… amazing. This song alone is worth the price of admission

Overall: Abandon Kansas’ 6-song EP, We’re All Going Somewhere, is well worth your consideration. It’s not quite the knock out punch that it could have been, due to a couple of tracks that kinda drop through the floor part way through, like “Make Believe”… but it’ll still connect enough to leave you seein’ stars. And, hey, iTunes is offering it at a bargain basement price… and you can’t beat that.

www.myspace.com/abandonkansas

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