You know that record that perfectly describes your teen years? Angst-driven, heavy and loud, lyrics you swear apply to you but you won’t really understand them for at least five more years? Nominee’s second release, I Woke Up, is 2014’s version of that ideal record.
The band is based in Austin, Texas and includes members from I Call Fives and Thieves. According to their press release, guitarist and vocalist Stephen Flynn describes the album as, “…Overcoming adversity and personal strife. It’s about starting over, finding rock bottom, and feeling it couldn’t get any worse but choosing not to give up on all aspects of life. It’s about sticking together as a band to make it work regardless of the odds and setbacks we face.”
The self-released EP begins with “Requiem”, an eerie yet promising opening for the record. The next track, “Cliffhanger”, mirrors a track you might have heard on a B-side of Motion City Soundtrack’s Commit This to Memory. It has the quirky vocals mixed with frantic pop-punk sounds that add the perfect touch to this EP. The EP in general has that grainy feel to it without sounding unpolished. The listener is able to grasp the constant theme of turning low points into high ones as well as hear the determination and skill crafted into each track.
Not only does this record have an impressive sound, it also has some impressive names in the credits. Joe Milligan of Anberlin took the role of producer and Paul Leavitt – who has worked with the likes of Senses Fail, Yellowcard, The Used and Hit the Lights – mastered the EP.
Nominee sounds like they have a sense of direction in their music, making it vital that people give this a listen.
I Woke Up can be streamed here.