In the past couple of years, numerous talented bands have come out of Ontario such as Structures, Prophets, The Afterimage and Counterparts. However, hidden among these blossoming bands are other small gems like the unsigned pop punk/emo outfit Safe to Say. After a couple of successful releases including "Sick to Death" and a split with another Ontario band, Seaway, Safe to Say has buckled down and recorded their first album With Everything in Between. With Everything In Between was recorded as a five-piece band, but shortly after the recording was finished, one of the guitarists dropped from the band.
With my first couple of listens to With Everything in Between, I'll admit I was somewhat conflicted with my thoughts on the album. Some songs I really enjoyed, while others didn't catch my attention. Many listens later, it's safe to say (HAHA) that this album contains many songs that have to grow on you. The first four tracks are not good examples of these growers. The first song, "Bleed," was released as the first single and features a catchy, mesmerizing chorus with an equally catchy and energetic, upbeat guitar riff. The second track, "Trip," is my personal favorite and doesn't skip a beat from the tempo of the first track. If you had thought that the chorus to "Bleed" was catchy, wait until you hear this song. The aggressive style of playing continues all the way to the fifth track, "Half Asleep."
"Half Asleep" is a huge change of pace from the tracks that preceded it. The first four tracks all seemed to be largely influenced by Seaway, while the songs that are on the second half of the album sound more like older Citizen – a comparison I made in the review of the Seaway/Safe to Say split that still applies here on With Everything in Between. Despite having very similar sounds at times, Safe to Say adds their own unique touch to make the sound their own.
The fashion of playing that the guitarist incorporates is one of a kind that truly makes the music distinct and gives it more depth. The guitarist is incredibly flexible with his playing style with each song. On one track the guitar is a vigorous, exuberant noise ("Bleed"), while it is a sensitive, calming sound ("Half Asleep") on others. The drumming throughout the album is on par with an excellent sounding snare, bass and cymbals.
The track titled "Once in a While" brings With Everything In Between to a close with softly spoken vocal parts that switch over to yelling, emotional vocals mid-song. This is a decent ending, but it ends the album with a whimper, rather than the bang that I was expecting. In a way, I can use that statement to describe the entire album. I was anticipating much more from the album following the first four tracks but after that, it seemed to lack the "oomph" I was hoping for. Not to say that those songs are unbearable, or even mediocre, but I was just yearning for a little more than I received. With Everything in Between is a great way to make an appearance onto a brand new scene, and I expect that this album will rake in a lot more listeners and fans.