Striking Back

The Restless EP

Written by: DR on 20/07/2010 23:32:39

Seattle's own Striking Back is actually a moniker for one man: Jordan Thompson. He has a band behind him, but SB is, what he refers to as, "a culmination of 10 years experience as a singer/songwriter." He's certainly no outsider to the music industry because during those ten years his previous band, Fighting For Nothing, managed to secure an opening slot for Something Corporate in 2005. Perhaps his biggest success, and the one that has the most relevance to "The Restless EP", would be securing the likes of Jim Wirt to produce and arranger Patrick Warren, who between them have worked with the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Incubus, Hoobastank, Jack's Mannequin and Kate Voegele.

This experienced production team is obviously a tremendous boon to any artist, but to one such as Striking Back it's absolutely key to everything good about him, and I mean that in the nicest possible way, because he plays very by-the-numbers radio rock, and so, so many bands in a similar vein are impeccably produced also to the point where you'd likely be laughed at if you weren't. You know the score, the flawless vocals croon lyrics about being heart broken - at one point during "Falling" Thompson actually sings "You breaaak myyy heeaarrrt!" - other instruments such as the piano and violin are used in order to make arrangements seem sweeping, whilst never daring to venture outside of the standard verse/chorus/verse/chorus/bridge/chorus structure. The songwriting ability is average, at best, offering no dazzling turns of phrase nor any subtlety to his lyrics challenging the listener whilst funnelling them through his pained croon.

It's obvious, unashamed, and not one for those that appreciate layered and out-there music because "it's more rewarding". However, if it wasn't for the fact Thompson really can carry a vocal melody, I'd be advising you to steer clear. But I'm not. I am instead telling you to listen to the songs "Restless" and the acoustic rendition of "Dark Day Afternoon", particularly to the chorus they each boast - borderline anthemic, right? The rest is pretty forgettable, but fans of similar stuff surely won't hold it against him; it is radio rock aimed straight at the mainstream, after all.


Download: Restless, Dark Day Afternoon (Acoustic)
For The Fans of: (slower) Hoobastank, Incubus, Jack's Mannequin
Listen: Myspace

Release Date 15.06.2010

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