Album Review :
LOYALS - LOYALS

By in Reviews | 10 Comments

Label: Tooth & Nail Records
Release Date: February 2nd, 2018

Tracklisting:

  1. Face
  2. Mind Up
  3. Bail Out
  4. Skyline
  5. Hold On
  6. Gone
  7. Heartstopper
  8. To The Top
  9. Never Too Far Gone
  10. IDC
  11. Alright
  12. Don’t Let Me Let You Down

LOYALS may fill the hole in your musical heart that longs for good pop music. No, we’re not talking about computer generated beats with autotune. We’re talking about real musicians that play memorable songs that are beyond catchy.

The first couple of songs offer a few glimpses of what LOYALS has to offer. They’re fairly catchy, however the highlights of the album begins with the single “Skyline.” The song is a lighthearted account of a first date gone wrong. Lyrically, it’s a story that many can relate with and it’s that kind of nostalgia that will keep this song in the heads of many. Musically, the song is built for the radio and deserves widespread recognition.

As “Hold On” begins, it becomes apparent that the band can showcase many different sounding songs. Rather than driving the song with a clean guitar, a synth takes the place with the guitar taking to the background. There’s no set formula that they rely on for each track. It’s this diversity that is the most impressive about the band. Pop is designed for hit singles and the rest are pretty much b-sides. But with the skill and musicianship on this record, it’s hard not to say this is an album filled with singles waiting to be released onto the masses.

The following song continues the hot trend of singles, making the middle section of the album the best part of the LP. Vocalist Dane Allen has one of the most signature vocal lines on the record in the chorus, singing “All I have is gone, can you hear me, can you hear me? You can take my beating heart, it’s the only thing I feel, for these fragile bones can’t go on.” 

“IDC” screams of the highly missed group The 1975. While you can say that LOYALS takes inspiration from The 1975, don’t assume they’re a copy band. LOYALS has their own sound that changes in small ways from song to song. The five minute long track sends you into a trance of heartache and old loves. All in all, it’s a sad song, but a song that can invoke those kinds of strong emotions is a feat for any band to accomplish. And if you’re a sucker for sad songs, you’ll be adding this to your playlists.

Nearly closing the album is their first single, “Alright.” This song mixes all of the best elements of each track before it. The balance between guitar, synth, and an incredible bass line makes it easily the best song on the album. The vocal range that Allen has over this self titled album is impressive to say the least. He seems just as comfortable singing in falsetto as he is in a regular range.

LOYALS has brought us an album we didn’t think we needed because we didn’t think pop could be done this well; and for the sake of being as accurate as possible, they fit into indie-pop or synth-pop better than just the broad term of “pop.”

The music on this debut album is approachable so fans of any genre can find themselves enjoying each song. With a strong first effort, it will be exciting to see where they go next.

RIYL – The 1975, Anchor & Braille, Lael, The Wild Wind

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10 Comments on "LOYALS - LOYALS"

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Chris L

Really enjoyed the album. Great review.

John

I’ve been trying to give this album a chance, but it’s so tempting for me to write it off as a diet-The 1975. To be fair, the vocalist doesn’t try to imitate Matt Healey, and has a solid voice (sometimes I get almost a Justin Timberlake-esque vibe).

BenjiKunz

This is a great record and I really need to spend more time with it because I’ve gotten distracted by all the other great releases that have come out this year. I’m so happy for these guys though. I remember when they went by Skyhook and released Raise the Stars. I was surprised their career didn’t seem to go anywhere because those songs were so clean and catchy.

Daniel J

Let’s Face It, I haven’t made my Mind Up about this album yet, and might still Bail Out on it. Skyline and Hold On are both catchy tunes, and Gone is Alright, but it’s no Heartstopper. After that you may as well go back To the Top. IDC much for Never Too Far Gone or Don’t Let Me Let You Down, maybe I’ll just buy the singles.

BTW – ‘Hold On’ is definitely the stand out track for me.

Zac Zinn

How much time did you spend on this lol

Noah H.

This is the best review of this album I’ve seen.

Stevo

I found one ep by skyhook

Brian

Skyline is so dang catchy. Needs to go mainstream.

Stevo

Is this their first album ?

Zac Zinn

Yes, they used to be called Skyhook, but this is their first.

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