We Don’t Stand a Chance
Release Date: June 8th 2010
I cannot stop listening to AM Taxi’s We Don’t Stand a Chance. This is not coming from a hyperbolic band-fan who is listening to his first forty-five. I have been writing about music for as long as many of the members of this band have been alive so it takes a lot to get me this excited about a disc.
At a time when they could easily get away with three-chord high-powered punk-fueled pop, AM Taxi takes it one step further by adding textures and ideas that keep it fresh and compelling while at the same time keeping it accessible and thoroughly enjoyable.
We Don’t Stand a Chance kicks off with the anthemic “Dead Street” a powerful little number that bursts with Midwestern sincerity that reflects influences ranging from Cathy Richardson (another local favorite) to Lindsey Buckingham – yet somehow they manage to keep their own DNA clearly defined.
This is one element of the brilliance behind the next big thing to put Chicago on the musical map. They take ideas – moments – from great songs and records and they spin them and twist them around until there is only a shadow of the original idea left. They take those ideas and construct songs that are both familiar and fresh.
The second track “The Mistake” comes in with a whole new vibe. The song is a 3:18 lesson in musical dynamics and musical production. The writing is driven and smart. The arrangement is compelling and intriguing. The production values are slick enough to get the best out of each instrument.
One relatively recent musical trend that almost sapped all of the enjoyment out of rock and roll was the dreary passionless music that appealed to the black-fingernail-polished disenfranchised youth. I understand that they need a musical identity, but as these bands became more popular there were less non-emo-driven bands making vital upbeat music.
AM Taxi can do the easy beat – the slower jam – but they don’t bank on it. They put their chips on this intricate, multi-layered punky-pop rock. I put my money on AM Taxi to be the band that influences the next wave of bands that we will have the chance to write about next summer.
Throughout We Don’t Stand a Chance we are treated to perfectly crafted little pop nuggets featuring one of the most interesting new voices in pop music. Adam Krier sings like his life depends on every note. His earnestness translates into performances that are vital to the success of each song.
The disc closes with “Champagne Toast” a cinematic piece that sweeps the listener into a visual image of a man at odds with himself – lost in his own city. This is where Krier’s voice really takes the main focus and rightfully so.
We Don’t Stand a Chance is easily my favorite release of 2010 so far. This disc will be pumping out of every cool car stereo this summer. AM Taxi will be the highlight of the Warped Tour.
Stand Out Tracks