Since its formation in the summer of 2007, Vegas synth-pop-rock outfit Almost Normal has flourished to its current state with frontwoman Ashley Lampman's beautiful voice polishing off the band's sound. Almost Normal is a dim melody perched pleasantly at the crossroads of Red Jumpsuit Apparatus and Paramore. It's a union of clean, effective musical deliverance and youthful accounts of love-as-we-know-it. The band's catchy name started out as a random joke among the friends that-- in the end-- held a lot of meaning with these Blink-inspired musicians.
I recently had a chance to catch up with Andrew Zakher who's on drums and keys for Almost Normal. When I asked him who has the song-writing prowess in the band, he explained that it's a collaborative effort. "One of us would bring an idea to the table, whether it's a short simple melody, or a fully structured song," Zakher said. "We each input ideas until it clicks." He also informed that the band has celebrated recent successes like opening for acclaimed solo instrumentalist The Rocket Summer at Hard Rock on The Strip, a June 22nd show at the House of Blues with acts like Beau & The Outfit and Burning Agrestic, and of course the release of their second EP earlier this spring.
I Shot the Moon, six-track EP from Almost Normal hit iTunes on May 1st. I had myself a listen and found the record has a pleasant pop-punk undertone melded with alternative synth-rock touches. Tracks like opener "Escape" consist of your typical hopeless romantic lyrics-- simple and lighthearted accounts of a yearning heart. "Hear Me Out" has a Southern California emo-tronica sound w/ satisfying guitar touches resonating throughout. A favorite of mine on the EP is "Write Me a Letter": a creative tune that starts with a hypnotic intro complete with background music of children playing, leading into a nostalgic tune about growing up (or trying not to). Lampman's spoken-word break during the song was a nice accent as well. "Scarecrow Dreams" starts out with a clean, upbeat intro that segways into a relatable tune about playing the vicious game of love. And closer "Breakup Season" presents a bittersweet break-up scenario that we all know too well. At least they can sing about it in the most positive apologetic way; the track sheds a warm light on honest feelings in a break-up. I must say that just about every track on Almost Normal's second recorded effort are worth a listen or three.
Keep an eye and ear out for Almost Normal as they play around Las Vegas:
Everyone can stream the new EP on Almost Normal's website/soundcloud:
Ashley Lampman - Vocals / Keys
Cris Hanna - Bass
Andrew Zakher - Drums / Keys
Shane Ouellette - Guitar