Bright And Early's "Nothing Personal" was an intense slam of the Gabe Saporta, Alex Gaskarth and the rest of the "scene", yet Bright And Early's Louder Than Words EP still brought vague memories both of Midtown and All Time Low's early works. They could have "forgotten what they knew" and went in the direction of the two previous frontmen's later works, and could be much more well off in life for it. But frontman John Browne and the rest of the Bright and Early crew decided to go in the opposite direction, expanding their sound towards a more creative output and becoming more than just another Pennsylvanian pop-punk group.
Louder Than Words was an excellent debut, but it didn't really direct the band in any direction that could paint them as unique. All the best pop-punk releases of 2011 have been by bands that decided to expand their sound into their own, multi-genre sound. While still pop-punk based, Bright and Early finally embraces a multitude of other influences on Getting Through It. Opener "Stick By Me" features the band hopping on the acoustic guitars and writing a slow folky campfire ballad dominated by Browne's versatile vocals. Browne goes from showing off his soft falsetto and wide vocal range to dominating the mid section with powerful, yet not overpowering vocal bursts.
"Rule Of Three" is Bright and Early at its pop-punk best. It's the song that would fit best in the crowd of Louder Than Words, but the band's sound is noticeably tighter. Browne's vocals are a standout (as they are throughout the entire record), and everything about the instrumentation is pushed to the next level. Matt Welsh's drumming is superb throughout the track, and lead guitarist Pete Deglais' miniature solo is the first big punch of the band's more rocking edge. "For What It's Worth" is another standout on the guitars, adding a Bayside-esque punch to the riffs. The bridge is a calmer segment, with a perfectly flowing sing-a-long melody that should be an easy transition to a live setting standout. "Selling Yourself Short" is a tease at another acoustic ballad, but soon morphs into a powerful rocker that is Bright and Early's most diverse song to date. Vocals from Deglais and other guitarist Ben Roth help support Browne, and the guitars continue leaning towards the more "rock" side of the musical spectrum. Browne also shows off his skills on the bass, as the band had no permanent bassist at the time, and doesn't disappoint. "Selling Yourself Short" is another highlight on an EP that has no weak tracks.
Bright and Early is doing their best to emerge from an over-saturated pop-punk scene, while not losing their integrity. The four tracks on this EP show the overwhelming talent that surges through each of the band members, as they prove to be more than simple riffs and melodies. The only concern for the band is that they will run into the same walls that affected Midtown, which were due to a lack of a huge fanbase mostly due to the style of music that they played. But Bright and Early understands that they don't need the huge fanbase to be successful. They're living their dream, doing what they love, and creating excellent music in the process.
1. Stick By Me
2. Rule Of Three
3. For What It's Worth
4. Selling Yourself Short
Bandcamp Album Stream