The Way – “I Keep Falling”


TheWAY_IKeepFallingCoverSoCal punkers the Way have returned with their third release, a full length on Thumper Punk Records and bring a more mature, polished sound this time around.  Hailing from Oxnard, California and been together as a band since 2009, the Way have certainly played their share of high-exposure supporting gigs, opening for bands like the Misfits, Pennywise, Lagwagon, and Strung Out.  That right there should provide some good clues as to what their sound is like.  Just in case those bands and the SoCal punk label don’t ring any bells, I’ll give you my take on their sound, which is a bit skewed toward the sound on this album which has subtly shifted from their previous work.

To get a clear picture in your head of what I hear when listening to I Keep Falling, think of Mike Ness from Social Distortion in his younger days, singing for Bad Religion, especially if they had some songs written by older Mike Ness to bring in that more bluesy/rock feel.  I know, that doesn’t work too well, and likely leaves a lot to be desired as far as descriptions go, but that’s what my ears pick up.  “Faith in Naturalism” kicks off the album and certainly sounds like Bad Religion and even has subject matter along the lines of what they might address.  The big difference though is that the Way is approaching the topic from a Christian perspective and the band makes no effort to hide their faith.

“Never Give” keeps things going at the frantic pace set by “Faith in Naturalism” and even speeds things up a bit more for most of the verses.  The song does slow for a bit and some of what is almost a trademark for the Way starts to come out in this song.  I’ve found in a number of their songs the odd lyrical phrasing, timing, and tone of the vocals where they seem to not exactly fit with the music. This characteristic becomes a bit more apparent in “Voluntary Confinement” with its starts and stops.  Where this seems to become really apparent is in the song “Human Nature”, which is completely acoustic and just doesn’t seem to fit with the rest of the album in terms of style and tone.  Similarly, the album closes with “Greater Grace” which, while not acoustic, has more of an almost rock ballad feel to it, clashing a bit with the punk vibe in the other songs.

Musically, fans of SoCal punk rock will find a lot that is familiar here and I’m not saying that in a bad way.  The band’s influences are obvious as is the genre they’re playing and they do this very well.  I especially appreciate the guitars and transitions within the songs.  Lots of variety, starts and stops, melodic sections, fast and slow sections, quiet building to loud sections, some acoustic to electric transitions, and even some guitar solos can be found within the songs.  Backing vocals are very well done and mixed in at the right levels, drums are present enough in the mix to help drive the songs along and the overall production is very good.  To be honest, this is a good album with some truly great songs and some listeners may appreciate the variety here more than I did, but to me, and taken as a whole the album is not as strong as their previous releases.

Rating: 6.5/10

Written by John Jackson

1. Faith in Naturalism
2. Never Give
3. Voluntary Confinement
4. Irrationality Of Relativism
5. Illusion
6. Solid Ground
7. I Keep Falling
8. Human Nature
9. Looking Back
10. Lower Education
11. Greater Grace

Band Members:
Tank – Bass
Ryan – Drums
Manny – Lead Guitar
Harry – Rhythm Guitar
Johnny – Vocals

Record label: Thumper Punk Records, Dec. 2013

Weblinks: Reverbnation / Facebook Twitter

“Helpless But Not Hopeless” [2011] Review
“I Keep Falling” [2014]

Buy the album here:
Holland: First Paradox
Norway: Nordic Mission
USA: Metal Helm

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