Street to Nowhere – Charmingly Awkward

  • Bobby Gorman posted
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Street to Nowhere

Charmingly Awkward - Capitol Records

When I first heard Street To Nowhere‘s re-release of Charmingly Awkward I had the distinct feeling that I had heard these guys before, but I knew I hadn’t. After a few more minutes, it finally clicked: The Matches. The whole CD has that sort of sporadic vibe that The Matches portrayed on their 2004 release, E. Von Dahl Killed The Locals, only Charmingly Awkward tones it back a little bit.

Throughout the entire eleven tracks, Street To Nowhere spits of energetic songs that constantly bring up memories of the sporadic pop-punk quartet from Oakland. Quite frankly these similarities are hard to ignore, they even have proof to support them. Take, for example, the drunken anthem Tipsy which features The Matches’ Shawn Harris. Hell, Miles Hurwitz even co-wrote most of the album; and guess what, he co-wrote most of Decomposer too. So suffice to say, the comparisons are inevitable.

Still, Charmingly Awkward has enough of it’s own gusto to stand out by itself and of its own merits. The biggest difference is the choice of instruments on the album. The whole CD is lead primarily by the use of an acoustic guitar, given the whole album a more familiar tone. Turning the songs into sing-along anthems and campfire chants, creating an actual bond between the listener and the band. A few times they drop it all an go for the straight solo acoustic tracks on songs like Georgia, Can You Hear Me? and The Sun. These songs sound rawer, more personal, and more on a level with Conor Oberst and Bright Eyes. Of course, tracks like Leave The Camera On uses the acoustic guitar to create the exact opposite atmosphere with a more in your face guitar attack and tons of energy instead of the more mellow offerings.

Fans of The Matches will definitely find a few great tracks on Charmingly AwkwardScreamin’, Dead Cliche, Leave The Camera On, Georgia Can You Hear Me? are just a few of the standout tracks. But sadly, the album still isn’t strong enough to float in a sea of post-pop-punk outputs. There’s a few tracks with a ton of energy and inventiveness, but the album hinders by the fact that for every good song, there’s a track that brings down the momentum right afterwards. This bi-polar output of good and bad songs hurts the flow of the album and makes it seem unnaturally long, particularly with the five minute closer You Can’t Go To Sleep which just drags it on for too long.