Fourth Quarter Comeback, upon first appearance, look like a group of assholes not a day over 19. First impressions are everything, guys. I’m tired of seeing greased up dudes fronting bands. The photo that was included with the album link was completely unflattering and almost made me look the other way. I decided to tread onward, having high hopes given the band’s name and the title of their EP, “The Only Way We Know.”
I did do a little research on the band before I listened to the album. Naturally, every greasy band has a ton of band photos. Browsing through their Facebook page, I was not disappointed. The picture that I mentioned is of each of them doing some different pose, trying really hard to look like a “serious” band that doesn’t take themselves too seriously. I don’t know- I mean, photo shoots are definitely weird, but this must have been the best picture they had out of a batch that just didn’t go well. Deadlines are a bitch.
So I kept looking, hoping to find something better than this. They were all pretty par for the course. And then, I found it. A younger picture of the group, but damn, do they look fine. Everyone is fully cleaned up and smiling and looking like they’re having fun. Which, for a band of this nature, I believe is very important! If you’re going to put out fun music like this, you have to look and act the part.
ANYWAY. The music. Fourth Quarter Comeback are a group of guys out of Fairfax, Virginia. “The Only Way We Know” is a six track EP that is tons of fun and brings me back to a time where I had a lot of ~feelings~ regarding what I thought was love. The music itself is reminiscent of my favorite emo band, Mae, specifically the first track “Back to Sleep.”
This track is a pretty solid opener, but I had to giggle at its first line “One drink too many,” because as I mentioned, these guys look barely legal. Regardless, this song is impressive to a first time listener like myself. I was actually just having a discussion with my fiancée about ‘emo’ music. Jon’s version of emo consists of kids with Flock of Seagulls haircuts wearing Invader Zim or Norma Jean t-shirts, whereas my version is more along the lines of bands such as Mae, Boys Like Girls, Jimmy Eat World, and now these fellas. “Back to Sleep” is an excellent addition to my Middle School Feelings soundtrack.
“Hold your Breath” takes the reins with a percussive opening, which I’m a sucker for, and the lead singer fitting all of his feelings into a few lines. The addition of a piano adds to that whimsical feeling of driving around with a group of friends, screaming the lyrics at the top of your lungs, a total “everything was beautiful and nothing hurt” moment. It’s a classic “I’m ready to fall in love again” track, executed very well.
The third track, “Drama Queen” is confusing. I get the feeling that it was an old song that was created in the band’s infancy that they always really liked, but never knew what to do with it. The power chords and rather simple drums indicate that it was born in the garage or was maybe written by one person, rather than it being collaboration. Unfortunately, as the third song in, the EP loses a little momentum. However, it’s just shy over two and half minutes long. Moving on.
After that disappointment, I was really excited to see the next track was called “All In.” Metaphor songs are in their own way hilarious, but also so, so good. Generally, there’s a chunk of lyrics that’s just begging to be used in a sixteen year old girl’s Facebook status. This song does not fail in that regard, and it’s perfect for this band. After the musical intro, the singer chimes in, and it’s the best he’s sounded yet. His singing voice is beautiful, and I wish it was utilized more through the EP instead of the loud singing. Sadly, “All In” is even shorter than the previous track. It’s a great tune and I hope it’s revisited by the band in the future to be taken to the next level.
Again, I don’t know what happened here. The following song “New Girlfriend” is another track that should not have been included; it’s something that someone held near and dear from their heyday and just couldn’t let it go. It’s dressed up a little bit with a synth violin/string orchestra, but that’s not enough to save it. This might have been a fun track to release as a B-Side in the far off future, but right now, when you’re putting out an EP and trying to really make it¸ it’s just unnecessary.
“Awake” is the cleverly titled closer to this all around well done EP. The guys slow it down, showing their softer side. The singer gets to flaunt his vocals again, which I’m not going to complain about. We are lead out with some overlaid vocal tracks, which distract from the entire song and ruin it for me. The rest of the album has a lot going on, as far as effects and feedback go, and I was really happy they decided to close it out with something that was almost completely stripped down. But those overlays at the end cover up the guitar work and cheese it up a little too much.
Final Thoughts: 3.5/5
“The Only Way We Know” is a fun EP from a quartet of guys that seem like they have a lot of fun. I’m willing to bet they put on a more than decent live show as well. There are a few things about it that could get changed in order to really make it shine, but overall, Fourth Quarter Comeback knows what they’re doing, who their target crowd is, and play to it. Props to them. I look forward to a full length album, and will buy them a drink when they’re old enough to properly celebrate.
You can stream “The Only Way We Know” by Fourth Quarter Comeback.
Check out the music video for “Back to Sleep” (which, I’m excited to announce, has the band look so fresh and so clean, clean).