July 24, 2020 Broadside – Into The Raging Sea (Album Review)
Preparing to release their new album on Friday, July 24, 2020, the title Into The Raging Sea holds many meanings for Virginian Pop Punk act Broadside. From changing labels, to Guitarist/Vocalist Dorian Cooke departing to pursue his own solo projects, a lot has happened for the band. Then there is the detriment of Covid-19 throwing the biggest wrench in the cog that is the music industry. Overwhelming for some, it ended up being a recipe for creativity and growth within Broadside.
Rising from the ashes of isolation and frustration, emerged a flame that sparked a rebirth for Broadside leading to everything that is Into The Raging Sea. Their first album with SharpTone Records, in enough words, Into The Raging Sea is full of raw energy and emotion that evokes a new reaction with each listen. Produced by Seth Henderson (State Champs, Real Friends), this album is the best of both worlds; emphasizing the band’s early sound and their newfound ambition. Think that is a bold proclamation? Read on to see why.
It all begins with the title-track “The Raging Sea” offering an intimate look inside what one can only imagine was the mindset of the band while creating the record. With lyrics like, “I’m not drowning and I’m so happy, Hidden in the shadows of someone else’s money, Stacked so tall it blocks off the show, The boy who’s on a string, Hoping that the crowd will never know,” you immediately are brought into a tale of perseverance throughout their hardships. A great start, it is Broadside’s way of explaining their slump of self-doubt and how to comeback from it in a way that makes not just their audience, but themselves, happy.
Then tracks such as “Foolish Believer,” “Nights Alone,” and “Breathe You In” all encompass a romantic, Synth Pop Punk vibe that fans will eat up. Creating a soaring feeling in your chest, it will awakens the hopeless romantic in many. This is while “Dancing On The Ceiling (With You) is the quintessential dance track with the most obvious Pop influences. However, do not write it off as just that, because Broadside has a way of intertwining upbeat tunes with the all too relatable feelings of melancholia.
Speaking of heavy emotions, album standouts like “Clarity,” “Seasons,” as well as “The Setting Sun,” are all equally thought-provoking and dynamic. These are songs that paint the scene while providing the plot, the story and the realism that make the music come to life. A raw, previously untapped energy that Broadside needed, these three tracks solidify that this album represents a period of self-discovery. Something that carries through until the end, “Burning At Both Ends” wrapping things up in a disheveled bow that conjures a feeling that is almost palpable.
Lyrically their strongest album, it creates detailed scenes that playout in your mind from the moment the first few notes hit. It is also diverse in a way that couples their grimy upbringing with their current state of confidence through storytelling and resilience. As fans might know, Vocalist Oliver Baxxter is no stranger to turmoil and self-depreciation, but he explains that the goal for this record was to embrace overcoming hardships. “From the very beginning, my attitude was: I don’t have shit to look forward to and everything behind me is trash, so I’m going to make myself the hero of my own story,” Baxxter explains. “I’ve always known struggle. As I get older, it’s more mental than physical, but it’s always there. I’m going to keep this thing going,” he concludes. “And right now, I’m on a high.”
Technically, Into The Raging Sea is Broadside’s best to date. It not only marks their return, but represents their triumphs, growth, plus dedication to evolving and leaving a mark on the scene. Into The Raging Sea is a new beginning and that is why Cryptic Rock gives it 4 out of 5 stars.