Gaining ground on the ever so over populated post-hardcore scene rises Florida’s own Broadway presenting you with their debut full length, Kingdoms. As you place the headphones upon your ears please keep your hands inside the ride at all times and prepare for the following: infectious melodies, deep growls, technical guitar work, a cohesive rhythm section, and guest vocals from Jonny Craig and Craig Owens. If any of the preceding frighten you, please remove your ear phones and listen to The Fray.
To open their debut album Broadway gives you 24 seconds of anticipation in an introduction track that flows perfectly into the first song, “Redeeming The Monster,” a composition that truly exemplifies everything this album has to offer in 3 and a half beautiful minutes worth playing over again and again. From the catchy guitar work to the range of lead singer Misha, Broadway doesn’t let up through the entire song with a chorus to die for in the melody section. It even contains what I may reach out on a limb and say is the first guitar ‘solo’ in a post-hardcore song. Near the end is a series of sweeps followed by a nice lead line to finish it up.
As the album furthers, you truly begin to realize why these boys stand out from their predecessors. The guitar work is to be rivaled by some of the great post-hardcore acts out there. With riffs filled to the brim with technicality (“Don’t Jump The Shark” verses) and yet remain catchy show their ability to combine the separate powers of bands around them that crutch upon one talent (read: catchier than Dance Gavin Dance, but just as technical). The overall abilities of each individual member helps them stray from becoming one of the far too many cookie cutter ‘high pitched vocals meets metal riffs’ bands out there. But Broadway even knows when to take a break and give you a perfectly placed breakdown to raise your fist (or punch the kid next you) to.
Many listeners of this genre thrive upon the ever so loved high pitched singing of vocalists such as Craig Owens and Jonny Craig; whom both appear on this album. This brand of listener will not be disappointed in this department one bit as Misha brings forth a range to die for and crafts melodies in his upper register that may make you fall to your feet in awe. The most astounding part of Misha’s vocals is actually that he reaches these notes night after night, yet also does the growls for Broadway. While he may be able to have a ridiculous upper register in his singing voice, his scream is deep, full, and nothing short of beautifully chaotic. A winner of a vocalist, for sure.
What may be one of the best releases of 2009 will most definitely rocket these Orlando gentlemen into the forefront of the scene alongside acts such as Chiodos and Emarosa; the latter of which they are on tour with currently along with Burden of a Day, In Fear and Faith, I See Stars and Our Last Night. I wish to only see this band prosper and watch them grow as musicians in the future with even more great tunes.