Abandon Kansas' Bad Christian Debut Album 'alligator' Showcases a Band Comfortable in Their own Musical Skin [REVIEW]

Abandon Kansas

Abandon Kansas has had their fair share of ups and downs since their inception 10 years ago, and now with the upcoming release of their album alligator, it seems they have finally found a home.

Releasing on May 12, the lowercased alligator will be their Bad Christian label debut, as they join the eclectic set of artists on the roster. The songs on the album represent a more free and mature band as their previous music was similar in ways but not just there yet. Alligator takes the next step in the band's progression to music mastery.

The album opens up with "Mirror," and the ominous collage of sounds is already building anticipation for what is going to be a great music listening experience. As the singing moves along a very unexpected and chill inducing screaming part comes in, "Is this all these hands will ever hold? Is it enough to fill my grave? I keep begging for the answers, but in the glass they will remain. I'm so sick, of trying, is this living or dying, I can't fake it anymore, it's not getting better...I'm not getting better."

Up next is the title track "Alligator." The song comes in and harks on a pulsing drone that keeps the song steadily moving. There are so many different blends of styles on this track such as '80s synth pop, electronic rock, and post hardcore elements. This song is pure melodic goodness, enough said.

The curiously yet fun named, "I Hope God Don't Mind if We Talk Awhiles..." Abandon Kansas' unique sound is again evident quickly. The musical arrangement really stands out on this track and the eerie, old school sci-fi like tone (Theremin perhaps?) that is played throughout is pretty awesome.

"Baby Please" is another up-tempo track, and extremely catchy. There is an almost video game like break down right smack in the middle of the song. A.K. took the track and completely flipped it on its head before transforming out of it and coming back to the song's "world."

Abandon Kansas
(Photo : Fresno Media)

"Anniversary" is on the light side as it comes in with light synthy chords and the singer's (Jeremy Spring) superb voice. The listener is then introduced to a female lead as the song continues on. They harmonize together on the chorus, "Here's to the end, here's to the end of you and me. A toast to all the memories that haunt me in my dreams" the two sadly sing of the end of their relationship. It is really quite a gripping song.

"Get Clean" does exactly that and shakes off the emotional vibes of the song before and adds on a whole different feeling. The bass line and quick piano strikes make this a blues-rock lovers dream. The chorus again has that throwback feel, but with a modern take for an exceptional sound.

The following song, "Shadows," is a straight rocker all the way through. "We find our place with the shadows we chase" is almost like a rally cry as the song is a bit more encouraging than some of the other tracks especially he belts out "I've been dreaming long enough, I'm ready to wake up!"

"I Know What You Meant" is perhaps the most revealing, intimate, and vulnerable song on the album. Played with just an acoustic guitar and the sounds of the ocean playing in the background, the lyrics are deep and sad. The song's story is captivatingly beautiful and full of so much passion. In its simplicity it is definitely one of the highlights of the album.

"You Ought to Know" is a fun track and positive in the sense that it points the listener to a God that can help them. "Only love will make you whole, only God can save your soul," they sing as money and sex are looked at as things that we grow "tired" of. There are truths in this song that we all "ought to know."

Closing out alligator is "One Foot in the Grave" as it opens with distant grouped vocals, before a nice group falsetto jumps out of nowhere. The beginning of the song is shaped by these vocals, and gradually picks up-tempo. The sheer poppyness of this song is infectious and a perfect way to send the album out on a high note.

It is hard to really describe Abandon Kansas as they dip into so many different elements of music much like some of their BC counterparts. To throw so band names out there that would give a reader an idea of what to expect: Modest Mouse, Muse, She Wants Revenge, Radiohead for King & Country, and countless others. This conglomeration of sounds makes Abandon Kansas uniquely Abandon Kansas.

Be sure to pick up a copy of alligator on May 12, and pre-order the album here.