Album Review: A Rocket To The Moon ‘On Your Side’

A Rocket To The Moon
On Your Side
Fueled By Ramen
House Of Blues Chicago
Wednesday, April 7, 2010

A Rocket To The Moon has a cool sound. Fountains Of Wayne had it first, but A Rocket To The Moon has not created anything to hurt the world of recorded music. The band just kind of re-examined the musical style known to many as “alternative.” Come to think about it, I am not even sure if Fountains Of Wayne had the alternative sound first. This particular genre of light pop/punk/rock is that which has been invading the airwaves creating sing-along anthems for high school kids across the country since Green Day broke though a number of year ago in 1994.

There is nothing wrong with catchy sing-alongs that become high school anthems bringing adults back to their glory days and senior year all over again each time their graduating class song is heard. We all need a good piece of hard candy in the form of recorded audible sound waves once in a while. For the younger generation of Warped Tour attending music lovers, A Rocket To The Moon has created unpretentious songs that can be identified with. Thus making angst-ridden teens possibly feel better about their melodramatic lives via sharing in the group’s broken-hearted, unrequited-love stories. For the older fans, On Your Side is a reminder of a simpler time without the worries of bills, insurance, taxes, marriage, children, paychecks, employment, and various other adult responsibilities.

Nick Santino, the brains behind the foursome, has a very likable presence. Santino’s voice is comfortable and crisp with enough of a dynamic to keep it interesting, but not so much as to make you ponder too hard. That is the odd genius of A Rocket To The Moon; the audience is not required to think. One can simply listen and let the flawless instrumentation and bubblegum melodies wash over you.

On Your Side explores some of the issues and experiences that pre-teens and teenagers go through, but not those subjects that parents never want to deal with nor hear about. In some instances, the record’s songs are pop/rock cautionary tales set to a perfect 4/4 time. In others, the compositions are heartbreaking in their simplicity.

The painfully obvious hooks are all in place. The forced rhymes, such as on “Dakota” (Dakota, I know our love is new / I barely know ya / I’ve fallen over you) are present, but the passion Santino displays will garner forgiveness from his target demographic. On Your Side is the album that parents will want their high school aged kids to listen to. The record’s songs are safe, yet interesting.

Stand Out Tracks: “She’s Killing Me” and “Life Of The Party”

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