This Is Not Dead
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“Birthday Candles are kind of from Florida. All of their members are from here except for their drummer, John. He’s from Denver. What an awesome dude that guy is. Killer band, too. They remind me of The Menzingers.”
“In a rare coincidence of form and function, Birthday Candles sound exactly like the name suggests -- a shimmering salute laden with hope, possibility, doubt, and regret. The West Palm Beach Fla quartet bristles with ringing power chords, crisp writing, and earnest sentiment suggesting something between punk-pop and power-pop. The rhythms are punchy and the lyrics delivered with a punky bite, but the arrangements are more supple and agile than typical punk-pop, reminiscent of Possum Dixon or the Plimsouls. Its the type of music that really shines when delivered with intensity and intelligence, both attributes Birthday Candles have in spades. The lyrics are also particularly sharp and memorable. Vocalist Matt Garamy sings on the anthemic "Where We Belong". Another striking tune is the acoustic guitar driven paean "Without a Trace" Garamy sings on a track steeped equally in hope and regret. Their skill suggests even better things are to come.”
“There's a bit of pop punk's upbeat, defiant, hopeful energy coming off the songs on Letters From Home, the latest from Birthday Candles. But there's also more sonic detail in the melodies than is often encountered in a lot of that music. "Otherside" and "Without a Trace" begin with a more delicate touch than the other three songs, but they also engage in the kind of anthemic progressions you'd expect from any melodic punk band with a leg in the relatively more complex emotional dimensions of emo. All genre considerations aside, these five tunes sound as if they were written at the end of a chapter of a life rather than employing the usual tropes found in too much punk of late. Think more Gaslight Anthem than Blink-182, songs that are genuinely earnest rather than maudlin.”
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