REVIEW: The Audition – Chapter II

theaudition2012

Artist: The Audition
Album: Chapter II
Genre: Pop Rock

After parting ways with Victory Records in July 2010, the future for Chicago pop-rockers The Audition was unknown; so much so that some fans were led to believe the band had called it a day. However now in February 2012, the band have returned albeit a slight line-up change; Joe Lussa has re-joined on bass and Jimmy Lopez has replaced the departed Seth Johnson on guitar. Nevertheless Chapter II sees a band that is refreshed and ready to take on the world.

With previous releases I have found The Audition to be slightly hit and miss, but on ‘Chapter II’ the band have produced a set of bold, blistering rock songs that prove to be striking with plenty of longevity.

Although this is a new phase for the band, from the offset the bands sound and approach hasn’t changed as ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’ is a defiant, energetic that gives the EP an immediate kick with superb guitar riffs brilliantly complimenting Danny Stevens’ familiar, powerful vocals.

‘You Make Me Sick’ opens up with a laid back acoustic guitar before driving directly into a steady electric chorus with an instantly catchy chorus, which shows the band haven’t lost their pop sensibilities. The same can be said for ‘EVIL’ which makes good use of the simple yet hooky line of ‘E-V-I-L.’ It’s a trick that nicely mixes dark lyrics with a bright pop-rock sound that fits the bands style well.

By the time you reach ‘Back and Forth,’ its clear the band are in their stride and stylistically the band are in their regular routine. Whilst this may concern some, its a style that the band pull off consistently well and you can’t fault the vocal talent of Stevens at all, whilst Timmy Klepek and Jimmy Lopez give the bands sound a needed rocky edge and depth.

‘You Gotta Believe’ is the weakest of the six tracks on here. The slower tempo and the transitioning between softer and louder moments doesn’t quite have the required affect, which results in the band losing the momentum they had. Thankfully ‘Talkin” puts them back on track with pounding drums and driving guitar riffs once again bringing out the best in Danny Stevens’ vocals. It’s a strong, comfortable track that closes the EP, and leaves the band on a high point.

With shackles of a label released, Chapter II has given The Audition a chance to re-evaluate their career and refresh themselves. The finish product is an appreciative, promising release that will be welcomed by long-time fans, and may surprise some past naysayers in places. Whilst it’s nothing exceptional, it is still a promising EP, and at the end of the day it’s good to see a band like The Audition returning and doing it for themselves, and from the sounds of it, they’re very enjoying doing what they do.

Cahpter II proves there is life after labels.

Score: 7/10
Review written by: Sean Reid

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the founder of Under The Gun Review. He loves writing about music and movies almost as much as he loves his two fat cats. He's also the co-founder of Antique Records and the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. You should probably follow him on Twitter.

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