Parade of Lights
The Take Off and Landing of Everything
Brad Skistimus a.k.a. Five Times August is an indy hero. Everything up to his new album he’s put out by himself with the help of his manager and they’ve done a great job with TV placement as well- setting the bar for independent artists in that world. His label debut isn’t a drastic change from what Skistimus has done with his previous work- but what it is quality Five Times August stuff. It’s not new for fans of his- it just brings his unique voice and style to more people. Skistimus’ style is reminiscent of some of the mid to late 90’s alt-pop that was out at the time; Del Amitri, Deep Blue Something, and Duncan Sheik among others. It’s focused with a lot of sunny guitar work with some interesting melodies accompanying it; it’s a kind of California Alternative-Pop. Five Times August isn’t exactly like those bands because he’s got a little bit of the Emo vibe to him too. His songs are really personal and that’s a big part of his allure on top of those melodies and that guitar work. “Brighter Side” takes that style and builds It into some great moments. “The Good Life” is a great single; it’s bouncy and fun and it’s got some great acoustic work on there by Skistimus. “Overrated” has the best guitar work of any song on the album- throughout the first verse and into the chorus it’s the driving part of the song. And generally the last four songs on the album- “Who You Are”, “One Way Road”, “The Lightning”, and “It’s Not Over”- are all fun to listen to- they’re not extremely polished and professional- they’re a little rough around the edges and that’s what makes them fun to listen to- it’s almost like listening to an artist discover his voice. Even though “Brighter Side” is a debut, it’s a long way from being so because of all of the experience Skistimus has acquired over the past three years. It’s far from being perfect, but it still has some great moments and it’s worthy enough for the Five Times August machine to keep rolling one TV placement at a time.