Cinematic Sunrise | A Coloring Storybook and Long-Playing Record | (Equal Vision Records) |
With fans bombarded with 100 new bands a day, bands find it even harder to prove themselves day after day.You’d think things would be easier when you have a built in fanbase. For Craig Owens and Bradley Bell of Chiodos, along with Bryan Beeler (guitar), Marcus VanKirk (bass) and Dave Shapiro (drums) this comes as a welcomed challenge. Owens fronts while Bell takes to the keys in this upbeat, happy go lucky band. It’s that light-hearted/good time approach that sets Cinematic Sunrise apart in a landscape of bands that are more into playing up the gloomy side of life.
There’s such a grand energy and fearlessness that should come with starting a new project and Cinematic Sunrise have that along with a great synergy that is felt through the final product; their EP A Coloring Storybook and Long Playing Record. It seems we all hold our breathe when it comes to side projects and sometimes we’re even guilty of wanting things to fail. This should not be the case for Cinematic Sunrise, with every lyric and arrangement set so perfectly, ranging from delicate and pretty to pulsing and feverish.
“Pulling a Piano From a Pond” has feverish guitars and airy keys. All the while Owens’ voice soars as if it may break at times and even at it’s most fragile, he still holds on for dear life asking “Is leaving the right choice?” “Goodbye Friendship Hello Heartache” comes from letting go of a relationship, drowning your feelings in the poison of your choice, the refusal and space needed after a betrayal and finally realizing what has to be done to move on. Although the demo of “Umbrellas and Elephants” posted on the bands myspace a few months ago was sparse in it’s arrangements the EP version has reached it’s full potential. I do still miss the acapella bridge I heard in its earliest stages, but still adore the repeating of the lyric “I know that I’ll be ok.” The rattling urgency of “Our Honeymoon at Weston Hills” pulls from the experience of performing, sharing your art with a crowd, baring your soul to anyone who will listen, and the ability to share something so intimate on such a grand scale. “The Wordless” is another track that has found it’s potential here on the EP. It’s more expressive, crisp and even stronger then before. The keys more intense, the incorporation of strings and excellent guitar adds a fullness that wasn’t present in the demo. Lastly there’s “You Told Me You Loved Me” which is their most vulnerable track, lyrically, on the EP. A song of desperation in trying to do or say anything to keep someone from giving up on you asking “If I told you I love you would that be enough.” All the doubt, shame, and longing is carried along by the gentle keys that spill into a pounding drumbeat and sweeping guitar. Owen’s voice is such a great, lush instrument, and Cinematic Sunrise gives us another chance to see Owen in a different light. — Naimah Holmes