American band The 81’s is prepping for the release of their third release 2 Things & 118 Others. The album is set to drop on June 19th. But first, for those not yet familiar with the act in question, a bit o’ background.
The 81’s are lyricist and executive producer Tom Siering and Nashville artist and producer Tim Carroll (guitar and vocals). Their rockin’ resume includes their two previous platters 2015’s Just One Word: Fin Del Mundo and 2016’a Big Man.
The 81’s signature sound is a mix of multiple music genres. It includes assorted elements of rock, alternative, noise rock, punk, and singer-songwriter. Their music is influenced by Joe Strummer of The Clash and they favor Neil Young.
2 Things & 118 Others
This 12-track disc also includes Addi McDaniel (vocals), Cameron Carrus (bass), Marco Giovino (drums and percussion), and De Marco Johnson (keyboards).
Track by Track
The album opener is titled “Michael (End of the Line).” It’s highlighted by a significant build, steely guitar work, and a definite but not overpowering beat. It does seem odd that this was not the closing cut but fret not. There’s much more to come.
The second song is “Curb.” If you’re a fan of Neil Young or maybe even Tom Petty this will work for you. It’s not that it’s derivative. It’s original but has a bit of a retro feel common to their signature sound.
The next number is “She Don’t Want Me.” It’s not grunge but it’s not punk either. It definitely is reminiscent of the 1980s. The cut features a memorable melody and almost an old school college radio feel.
“Nuke LaLoosh” follows. This one might just grow on you . . . especially if you play your music loud.
Also included here is “Jimmy.” It’s a solid song that remains true to the act’s signature sound but is perhaps overshadowed by other audio offerings here.
“Camino de Santiago” sets a definite mood. It’s a slow yet steady tune that gives listeners a break from the pounding beat of previous pieces. It would work exceptionally well for Halloween although it’s not at all obvious. It simply has a slightly dark brooding feel to it.
You cannot help but like “Facebook.” In fact, if you’re a grown-@ss adult that often overdoses on social media today you should just plain love this one. It must be a hit with live crowds.
“Mind Bender” is another 1980s-like song that isn’t grunge or punk but falls in there somewhere. Seriously though, do you really need a label for it? It works.
“Hostage” is another early critical favorite. You’ll definitely notice both the backbeat, the melody, and the evident underlying experience for sure.
The high energy audio offering “Four Way Stop” should be a great single. It’s a musical metaphor and a stand-alone track that has possibilities for heavy rotation. It deserves being a focus track.
Musically, “This All You Got?” should appeal to those who appreciate classic rock. It’s a tad political for a music act but whatever. Go with the flow.
The album endnote is “Need To Believe.” This, too, is an early fan fave. Here The 81’s will make you move yet one more time with a positive message that is spiritual without being preachy.
Overall . . .
Overall, this rockin’ record is already getting good reviews. Early reviewers are already fans of Sterling’s tight production, Carroll’s powerful vocal drawl, and rockin’ relevant tracks. It’s the kind of hot sound that brings to mind images of once smoky little clubs complete with crowded, damp dance floors, and drinks that cost a tad too much for the atmosphere offered. So check out The 81’s’ 2 Things & 118 Others because it’s a bit of a “Mind Bender.”