A Fragile Tomorrow “Be Nice Be Careful”
What started as an alt. rock band with a few good songs on Tripping Over Nothing has moved decidedly to the more popper side of genre. That’s a good thing, as well as enlisting Mitch Easter (REM, Let’s Active, Sneakers) as co-producer. Leader Sean Kelly does a wonderful job on the opening track “Don’t Need Saving,” full of minor chords and chiming guitar strums.
The earnest melody of “Cooked Smiles and Greedy Hands” is a fine composition that echoes The Lemonheads or Toad The Wet Sprocket, with hooks and harmonies in all the right places and a guest vocal with Don Dixon. It loses a little momentum with the bland “Loyalty Lies,” but the steady jangle in “Blank Paper” helps make it an excellent tune about the songwriting process. Clearly the country influence is still here with “Intentions” and “My Home.” Another standout tune is “Kernersville” and doing the background harmonies are The Bangles (Vicki and Debbi Peterson), Susan Cowsill with Mitch Easter on guitar. “Three More Hours” is another fantastic song. With 14 tracks, there is a lot to like here, but it still sounds like a band in transition in spots. The band has been touring with many top-name headliners (Drivin’ and Cryin’, The Bangles and Matthew Sweet) so I expect great things from future AFT releases.
The Honest Mistakes “Sundowning” EP
After a good debut album, this Baltimore band fine tunes it’s sound. Near perfect opening on “Cry” with hand claps and solid riffs, the band has a much better command of melody than ever before. Vocalist Joylene Dalia effortlessly harmonizes on “The Leaves” and guitarist Chris Ehrichs ever present strum make it a casual breezy single, and then on “Put Those Things Away” the pounding percussion and angular rhythm take center stage. This is a highly recommended EP, fans of 10,000 Maniacs and Blake Babies will thoroughly enjoy this one too.