Music Review >> SafetySuit – ‘These Times’

Rock band SafetySuit experiments with their sound on latest record, These Times.

SafetySuit, comprised of Doug Brown (vocals/guitar), Dave Garofolo (guitar),Ā  Jeremy Henshaw (bass), and Tate Cunningham (drums), are kicking off the new yearĀ  on a high note with the release of their second full-length record, TheseĀ  Times.

“People always say you have your whole life to write your first record, andĀ  your second record you need to do it in a year,” Brown told Sound Spike at theĀ  end of May 2011.

After heading back into the studio to create theĀ  follow-up to 2008’s Life Left To Go, which spawned the hit single,Ā  “Stay,” SafetySuit decided to trash what they had recorded halfway into theĀ  recording process and start again from scratch. The band then aligned themselvesĀ  with powerhouse producers Howard Benson (Daughtry), Espionage (Train), and anĀ  old buddy of Brown and Cunningham’s from college, OneRepublic’s Ryan TedderĀ  (Gavin DeGraw).

It was with Tedder that the band created their lead single off of TheseĀ  Times, Let Go.”

“I love that song, because it’s such a departure for us,” Brown explained inĀ  a press release. “Ryan is obviously a very pop-minded producer, so I said,Ā  ‘Let’s have fun with it; let’s do something that’s not the norm.’ It turned outĀ  great, and it kills live.”

The track itself does have what I would call a “Tedder Was Here” feel to it,Ā  with its symphonic melody and pop-infused beats. It shows that SafetySuit isn’tĀ  afraid of taking a risk and experimenting with their sound and embracing popĀ  music. Nevertheless, on an album that’s predominantly rock, “Let Go” shines.

The band gets politcal on the Howard Benson-produced title track. With theĀ  economy being less than stellar, the lyrically powerful “These Times” stands outĀ  as an anthem for people that have fallen on hard times. The track speaks to theĀ  relevance of what’s currently going on in our society, as well as ingraining theĀ  hope that things will get better.

“We wrote, ‘These times are hard/But they will pass,’ and that’s important toĀ  remind people of,” Brown said in the aforementioned press release. “We’ve madeĀ  it out of bad times before, and we’ll make it out again.”

Collectively, These Times is a captivating album. You can tell fromĀ  the opening track, “Believe,” that the musicianship here is really top-notch. OnĀ  that track in particular, the anthemic ascension of the guitar work in theĀ  beginning sets the tone for the entire album. And Brown’s vocals throughout areĀ  impressive and incredibly versatile.

With lyrically relatable, rockin’ and melodic songs about life, love, andĀ  everything in-between, SafetySuit’s These Times is a must-listen forĀ  2012.

These Times by SafetySuit is available now. For more information onĀ  the band, check out their officialĀ  website.

Originally posted on Blogcritics.


Published by

Kirsten Coachman

Kirsten Coachman is an entertainment writer and editor from the SF Bay Area. Fan of live music, film, Shondaland dramas, and the San Jose Sharks. Follow her on Twitter: @KirsCoachman

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