With one of the most fun-sounding summertime records, Broadside are sure to be the soundtrack of many people’s summer with Paradise.
The first and maybe poppiest song, “Hidden Colors” brings loud drums and tons of female empowerment to Broadside’s previously heavy music. The song ends abruptly, making the song feel unfinished in a way. “Paradise” has an incredibly fun intro that leads to an incredibly fun sing along, with a surplus of gang vocals. The guitars I wish were a tad louder, but the riffs sound fun and match the song’s chase-your-dreams vibe. The next song, even though it carries a similar ‘chase your dreams’ message, Broadside have been able to twist it into a bit of a different take on the message, basically saying ‘you have to lose yourself in order to find yourself,’ which I love. Dorian Cooke (guitar, vocals) takes a more prominent seat on vocals for “Laps Around a Picture Frame.” After several, several listens through the album, it’s easy for me to say this is my favorite track on Paradise, maybe even out of Broadside’s full discography. At first the excess of ‘oh’s I found a little bothersome, but they have since grown on me. The song is where the album starts getting slightly darker in lyrical topics. “Laps” talks about how “this room is growing so cold,” symbolising the growing feelings of “feelin’ left out, so stressed out” and struggling to “be more than my anxiety.” The song features one verse of hope and reassurance “I promise you’ve got so much more” before hitting the height of the song, bringing back Broadside’s classic screams, reminiscent of 2015’s Old Bones. The song comes back to a single “this room is growing so cold” to find a perfect end to the song. “Tunnel Vision” is Paradise’s punk-rock anthem. The song has this edgy, dirty vibe to it that feels like a modern twist on a 90’s punk song, featuring punch-y guitars, everything that fits right with a song about people who just want to use you for their gain. A weird choice as a follow up to the punk-y “Tunnel Vision” is “Summer Stained.” The song starts and ends with acoustic guitar and raw vocals. The song, about post-tour depression is another example of just how raw and emotional Broadside can be. “Show me how to love and not fall apart” is one of the hardest-hitting lyrics on the record, as it feels like Oliver Baxxter (vocals) is pleading to find a way to live out his dream without it tearing himself up. The album closes on the Hawaii-esque, sugar-sweet love song “I Love You, I Love You. It’s Disgusting” all on ukulele. Broadside probably surprised and alienated quite a few fans with their new pop-infused Paradise as a follow up to Old Bones, but also gained a number of new fans with their new sound. I love the array of topics the band is able to cover in one album, though sometimes some songs felt sonically misplaced in the album’s order.
Overall: Maybe not for Old Bones fans, but definitely a top-notch, summer album.
Review by Shane Haley