27 January will mark the release of the Swedish rockband Smash into Pieces‘ third album called Rise and Shine. Two weeks prior to the release, the band gave us their new track Yolo. In 2016 we already saw the release of the tracks Let Me Be Your Superhero, Merry Go Round and Higher. Due to these tracks, we already had a decent image of what we could expect on the album, which would contain ten tracks. All I’m hoping is that the band keeps up the level of these four songs.
The first track on the album is called Turn it Down, which immediately shows a more developed sound when compared to their previous album, partially due to the electronic influences, which were already slightly present in their previous release. It also seems like vocalist Chris Adam Hedman Sörbye is more comfortable using his vocal range, as the chorus contains some perfect high notes, whereas the bridge seems to balance out these notes with some screams. Up next are the three tracks that were released in 2016: Let Me Be Your Superhero, Merry Go Round and Higher. The first of the aforementioned songs also showcases the electronic influences as heard on Turn It Down really well. Merry Go Round is a calmer song, creating a welcome diversity on the album. The song manages to maintain the positive spirit the album has. In Higher, Chris Adam’s voice has also undergone the electronic make-over, to create a wonderful song which isn’t quite as calm as Merry Go Round, but doesn’t really lean towards the band’s heavier side either.
The next song on the album is a new one, and it’s called Animals. It brings a different, more negative feel along, which fortunately doesn’t make the song any worse. On the contrary, the diversity the song displays makes it one of the best tracks on the album so far. The next song is called Stay and seems to share it’s subject with Animal, as both tracks seem to refer to break-ups. Stay doesn’t impress me, and almost seems a bit below the level of the rest of the album so far. After these two tracks, I long for something more positive, and the band delivers perfectly with Yolo. Even though the song doesn’t really have the best lyrics, I can’t help but love the song and eventually sing along to the chorus.
Save It For The Living seems to open like a ballad, but unfortunately doesn’t follow up, but it may just as well be the best song on the album so far. The Apocalypse DJ’s drums supporting Chris Adam’s singing, accompanied by the strings create a beautiful song. With two more songs to go, I dive into In Love with Love, which opens with some acoustic guitars, which get accompanied by electrics after about a minute. Luckily for me, this is the wonderful ballad I was secretly hoping Save It For The Living to be. The Swedes close the album with the aggresive track Rise and Shine, which even seems to incorporate some dubstep, having a very positive effect on the song itself. “Save the best for last” is definitely something the band had in mind with this album, because holy shit, this song is amazing.
The album definitely showcases improvement when compared to it’s two predecessors, both in sound and diversity. The band manages to make a great album, and leave me longing for more. I guess all I can do is hope they come back to the Netherlands after their upcoming USA tour with Amaranthe!
Final score: 8,5/10
Releasedate: 27th of january 2017
Label: Gain Music