Nostalgia Inducing Pop Punk

[rating: 7/10]

To be frank, this is an album that I’d be much more into if I heard it about 10 years ago. Back then, I was a North Jersey scenester who promoted tons of shows, attended most that I wasn’t promoting, and ate up this pop-punk by the plateful. Sail by the Stars would likely have been heavy rotation on the discman that was plugged into my tape deck in my 1987 Mazda 626 covered front to back in bumper stickers (Oh, Mary Lou, how I miss ye!).

Unfortunately, this band is a tad late for that era in my life, but it’s not at all their fault… in fact, the band is tight, the vocals are well executed, and the production is stellar. Fans of well crafted, catchy rock tunes with punk, emo, and pop influences will enjoy The Night Owl EP as much or more than anything like it in the past few years. Mature enough to convert the former pop-punk faithful like myself but catchy enough to appeal to the masses, the target audience for Sail by the Stars is most appropriately the drones of kids listening to bands like Panic! at the Disco, NeverShoutNever, and Fall Out Boy that have yet to discover better things that this music scene has to offer. Hopefully this band (specifically, this EP) can be that gateway for those kids who need a nudge in the right direction.

As far as the actual tunes go, I am quite partial to “Wingspans and Flight Plans”. Extremely catchy and very danceable, the tune had me tapping my toe involuntarily. The classic pop-punk “whoas” in the chorus make me nostalgic, reminding me of singing along at shows in the salad days of that aforementioned Jersey scene. Gang vocals almost always make me smile and this song is no exception.

After listening to this EP, I did some research on Josh Koterba and this band. Listening to old tunes and where this band came from is impressive; the project has come a long way from the original one man band. 10 listens in, this EP strikes me as quite an impressive feet for an indie band without major label backing. Like I said before, they are mature and technically sound. But, no one will ever accuse these guys of being too solemn or too grown-up. If I were to sum this release up in a sentence, I’d have to simply say that The Night Owl EP sounds like a band having a lot of fun together playing catchy rock tunes that your little sister and you can jam to together. Think of them as a gateway drug in the indie world of pop-punk and emo that doesn’t sound like the Simple Plan-esque crap on the radio.

~ by thepaintedman on April 12, 2010.

3 Responses to “Nostalgia Inducing Pop Punk”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Justin Harlan. Justin Harlan said: #MusicMonday Review of The Night Owl EP by @sailbythestars: […]

  2. Apparently not enough research. It’s back to just Josh the band quit a while back.

  3. Thanks for the info. I, admittedly, did not do enough research, I guess. But when I finished the review, I sent a link to Josh and he didn’t say anything.

    Guess I’ll have to follow up with him for an interview.

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