Sunday, May 6, 2012

Curious Volume 'Mumbles & Whispers' Album Review by Paul Marino

Curious Volume first released Mumbles And Whispers back in 2009, but have recently revived the classic simply by including an ampersand in its title.

The band has said that instead of just bringing the album back for another go around they have improved on its sound and have brought their audience a better representation of the music they wanted them to hear. The album contains eight songs which touch upon themes like being true to yourself and not buying into the lies of others. It is apparent throughout the album that Curious Volume is displeased with the societal “norms” of acquiring vast riches and talentless fame, so much that lead singer, Andrew Paladino, is vocal about just having his girl, his guitar, and his friends to keep him going. Lyrics are constantly about life; about the hypocrites within, love lost through the process, and the beauty it can bring if you just stop long enough to realize it.

Curious Volume is a mix of punk and ska which the band sometimes refers to as “Skate Punk.” While the album seems to be about specific times in the bands life, going as far as directly giving a shout out to Staten Island and a few of its towns, the lyrics hold a certain familiarity that almost anyone within its shores and beyond can relate to. The album's opening tune, “About Anything,” is a short, just under three minute song, about the simplicity of happiness if you stop worrying about nonsense, shrug off negativity and just smile.

Next on M&W is “Any Other Night,” which kicks off with a gradual increase in the percussion and string intensity before switching to an up tempo ska beat. The lyrics justify the saying that “It's the little things that count.”

Song number tres, “Vs. World,” slows down the hype from the last two songs with an organ-like trance accompanying the talk about never compromising your dreams. About halfway through the song the beat picks up and you're told that, where you are might be is where you're meant to be. This song is followed by “Fifteen Minutes,” which the band says has practically become a different song altogether since its last recording. Lyrically the song brings up the point that while people might understand what you're saying at first, sometimes, it's only a matter of time before they move on with their lives and forgot what you even taught them. These statements are accompanied by a funky bass and an uptempo guitar line.

The following two songs are titled “Thoughts from the Eltingville/Annadale Train Station(s).” Eltingville, the shortest song on the album, is also one of the slower ones, describing the want to escape from things like lost love and monotonous life. Annadale builds up from the last song's slower rhythm to a fast paced piece about the regrets and pains of a break up.

“Dent” immediately kicks off with the all too common instance in life in which we want to go out and live our dreams but sometimes it's our own homes that hold us back. The chorus combats this “feeling” by exclaiming that everything has slipped away and that “away” is some place you might have to go in order to realize your true potential. Mumbles & Whispers finale, “There Will Come a Day,” is composed of harsh words about the selfishness of some people (though it seems a bit more specific than just “some people”). Even with the negative vibe, the song continues the quick upbeat trends of the previous songs.

If you're a fan of bands like Streetlight Manifesto, NOFX, or just the local Staten Island music scene, I would highly recommend giving Mumbles & Whispers a listen. Download it for free at

Read Q&A interview with Curious Volume here

Check out Curious Volume at these sites:

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