Review:: Reflection | Time Will Tell
New Jersey’s great! It’s got huge stores, and lawns, and you never have to carry a cup again! Not for the rest of your life! I’m not afraid to say it: I love New Jersey!
If you aren’t a fan of How I Met Your Mother, then that may have just seemed like mindless rambling. Either way, abundance of cup holders or not, New Jersey is famous for producing talent, and not just the “actors” from Jersey Shore.
With the reunion of The Early November earlier this year and a new album from The Gaslight Anthem coming this summer, my opinion of the garden state has increased immensely. It has also led me to believe this: New Jersey consistently gives us some of our best music. Frank Sinatra, Saves the Day, Senses Fail, My Chemical Romance, Streetlight Manifesto, Lifetime, oh, and The Boss himself. All that being said (along with my New Yorker sense of superiority), I always tend to expect a lot from bands from New Jersey.
With their second release, an EP titled “Reflection,” South Plainfield’s Time Will Tell provide five solid pop-punk tracks that would make the Midtown boys proud.
The opener, “The Only Nights That Matter,” starts with smooth vocals over a soft guitar strum before picking up the tempo and diving into an anthem about friends and growing up. A strong bass line from Cristian Fernandez halfway through splits this New Found Glory-esque track, while looping vocals from Chris Minor, Chris Rivers, and Mike Larned cycle “Don’t waste your years away / making friends with enemies that don’t give a damn about you / I know it gets hard always trying to prove yourself / I’ll never regret who I am.”
The second track, “Fall Back”, starts with growing feedback before dropping into a song about someone who’s gone and time that ran out. The energy is high and the vocals are strong, but what’s impressive about “Fall Back” is that it ends when it needs to. The shortest track on the EP, by about forty seconds, doesn’t risk its lasting value by getting dragged out or overdone.
The halfway mark, “I Gave Her My Heart and She Gave Me a Pen,” is the strongest point, both musically and lyrically. On what sounds like a could-be Anberlin b-side, Bob Alcavage’s light guitar work accompanies Minor’s sweet, low vocals over supporting background “oohs.” Emotions run high with lyrics like “you’re the crash that never makes a sound / but I can hear you now. / I’m a little more than useless / but I promise that we’ll make it through this.”
“The One” shows that Time Will Tell are more mature of a band than their two years would let on. Its production value sounds fantastic, and the track itself is polished beautifully.
The album closes with “It’s Been a Tough Year for Aries’,” starting with a strong performance by drummer Mike Tizzano’s, driving the EP to its conclusion. Taking a page from The Early November’s playbook via “The Mountain Range in My Living Room,” the record fades out after recorded messages overlapping gang vocals and a final chorus.
Like I said, I have high standards when it comes to music. I’ve sat through my fair share of lackluster openers, forgettable battles of the bands, and free samplers that didn’t draw attention. However, “Reflections” shows that you don’t need a major label or a full length record to make a statement. In five tracks, Time Will Tell show what hard work and skill can produce as a result. They may be a young band, but they sound like they could be following the footsteps of their predecessors. Will they? Well, only ti- … you know the saying.
Runtime: < 20 minutes
Release Date: June 22nd
Time Will Tell is:
Christopher Minor - Vocals/Keys
Chris Rivers - Keys/Vocals
Bob Alcavage- Guitar
Mike Larned - Guitar/Vocals
Mike Tizzano - Drums
Cristian Fernandez - Bass/Vocals
Review by: Eric Riley