By Dusty Ray
A cello-driven pop/post-punk quintet that rocks out with an ear for the symphonic, Post Paradise is a tight outfit whose aspirations are far reaching but accessible. With The New Normal, they belt out fifteen strong and diverse tracks, showcasing their copious catalogue and songwriting abilities.
“Sex Panther” sets the stage with a hard going cello and bass combination that chugs along into a heavy yet subtle sound that pervades the album. The tracks shift into the more bluesy “Memory” and the dark and interlocking rhythms of “Isn’t That Something?”. Nick Duarte’s vocals have an attractive pop sensibility that can become tired at certain instances, but on the whole they add a familiar quality to an unfamiliar combination of musicians.
Post Paradise pays homage to Bach with their amazing rendition of “Interlude: Bach Cello Suite No. 1.” It is a satisfying interpretation that comes as a welcome refrain from the rest of the album; it’s an island of rest from the more poignant, emotive lyrics and composition of The New Normal.
Closing out with “Carry Me On” The New Normal is brought to a laid-back, folksy conclusion, a grand closing to a well-balanced and well-produced album. The vocals have a certain Matchbox 20 quality that lends Post Paradise their poppish accessibility, but their instrumentation will impress even the most stubborn music snob.
Fifteen tracks can seem daunting at first, but not one single song overstays its welcome. Balance is found throughout The New Normal, and is its forceful attraction.