Review: "P.18" by Page 18
Music: 0.7/1, Lyrics: 0.9/1, Lasting Impact: 0.8/1
Amplify score: 2.4/3
Alternative rock seems to be a bit of a touchy subject these days. Many people make claims that rock is dead, while others decry modern rock music, saying that older rock is better or that nobody makes good rock music anymore. While there are certainly examples of bad modern rock albums to support these claims, there are plenty of other albums to have come out recently that would seem to suggest otherwise. The new Radiohead and Young the Giant albums, for example, were spectacular, and Kings of Leon’s recent single releases hint at another solid album in an already impressive discography. With that being said, it would seem that modern rock is being entirely kept alive by older rockers. Not so.
Page 18 is a recently formed alternative rock band of college students from Nashville, TN that will challenge your perspective of modern rock with their debut album, P.18. Beginning as the singer-songwriter project of frontman Mason Pashia, Page 18 was born out of a 10-day recording session in Kansas City, MO with Mason, Stephen Sesso, and Sean Logan. The three musicians spent over a week holed up in an abandoned building in Kansas City with the goal of recording an album, but what they ended up recording sounds far different from what they originally had in mind.
The Oliver Building (the then abandoned building where Page 18 was born) began molding the sounds that would become P.18, its cavernous insides inspiring reverberant soundscapes, huge drums, and soaring vocals. The song opens with “Amiss,” an ambitious track that sounds like Thom Yorke of Radiohead and Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age collaborated on a song together. The song’s bass line immediately grabs your attention, and with the addition of John Bonham-esque drums, heavily distorted guitars with interesting effects, “Amiss” quickly becomes a track to bob your head to.
“Amiss” is just the beginning, however, and soon it’s clear that P.18 is one album to save to your favorites. The third song, “Fire & Wind” channels Young the Giant in rhythm and vocals, with Pashia shouting “This is how it ends! Fire and wind!” in the choruses. “Like You,” the album’s aggressive seventh track, hints at more Radiohead influence flecked with Jeff Buckley, resulting in a fast-paced song with amazing vocals from Pashia amid dirty guitars and crushing drums.
Though the album has its fair share of all-out rock, it isn’t afraid to take it down a notch as well, with songs like “Wind Me Up” featuring plucked strings and “She” boasting beautiful, ringing acoustic melodies behind Pashia’s hushed singing in his lower register. Other tracks are softer but sound more brooding than relaxed, building tension until descending into static chaos, as heard in “Ticked.” “Wind Me Up (Reprise)” offers a gentle resolution to Page 18’s debut album, as Pashia performs solo with his acoustic guitar, singing “Watch her wind me up,” one last time before the album fades out.
P.18 by Page 18 is currently available for streaming on the band’s SoundCloud and for download on the band's website. The album is expected to release everywhere on Friday, October 14th.