"Like A Habit"
April 17, 2012 - Clifton Motel
This review originally ran in AP 286.
It’s genuinely befuddling that the Forecast aren’t absolutely huge. Over the course of three prior full-lengths, the Illinois band have preserved (and extended) the legacy of ’90s Midwestern emo, thanks to no-frills, heart-hitting songwriting. Sonically, their Kickstarter-funded, hook-filled fourth album, Everybody Left, picks up where 2010’s self-titled album left off. Brisk, livewire pop-punk duets between frontman Dustin Addis and bassist/vocalist Shannon Burns (“Clear Eyes, Full Hearts,” “Skyline”) alternate with hollering power-pop (standout “Like A Habit”) and slower material with hints of mournful twang (“Last Stand”). Lyrically, the album is restless with movement: Several tunes grapple with conflicting emotions stemming from relocation—most effectively on the ballad “Skipping Stones,” whose downtrodden, classic-rocking guitar licks enhance a thematic desire to escape small-town life—while others examine the evolution (or dissolution) of relationships through the prism of travel. As always, however, the Forecast temper their sentimentality with pragmatism and just a touch of bitterness, making their music as relatable as it is catchy. Fans of the band will love Everybody Left; in a perfect world, everyone else would, too.