One of the things I find great joy in, truthfully, is giving people a band’s name or the name of their album, or artwork to see what their expectations are. This becomes even more amusing when you play the music for the person and it’s the complete opposite of what they had been prepared for. Well, Winslow played that game with me this week. I wasn’t sure what to expect; did I prepare for indie-rock? Did I brace myself for metal that would knock me back, leaving me feeling both hyper and exhausted? I wasn’t sure, but then I played Left of the Right Direction and was reasonably surprised.
“Ain’t That a Shame” has everything you’d expect of a pop-rock single from the ’80s. It’s got this great beat and the vocals are just gruff enough to pull you in and make you want to sing along. My only issue with the song is that it seems a bit repetitive, but where Winslow loses you, they quickly bring you back with a bridge that is lyrically impressive.
“Alone Tonight” is a great track, and not just because of the fantastic instrumentals. It was a perfect predecessor to the softer “Nothin’s Easy.” Almost acting as a bridge, the song is a great indication of where Winslow is going with the album and how they plan on tying it all together. It also showcases the edgier style the band can accomplish. “Nothin’s Easy” is quite philosophical in its own way, telling listeners that they have to follow their heart, despite the fact that “the world will always get you down.”
“Stand Up” better fits the bill of my expectations, as well as my own personal taste. It’s got a bit more of a push to it; there’s a determination behind the song, making it almost fitting for that last mile when your legs are ready to give out and you need something to light the fire to keep you going. The bass shines on this track, as well as the amazing electric guitar during its solo.
“Everyday” is a bit more melodic, as is typical when a band suddenly adds a piano into the mix. If you know me at all, you know I love group vocals; like, love group vocals, and this track has them, along with just a beautiful style. For that reason alone, this may be my favorite song on the album.
If there’s one thing Winslow is good at, it’s incorporating a variety of instruments into their music. There’s a special merit in that; many bands attempt to have a collection of songs that are different from each other, but many of those same musicians struggle to accomplish that feat subtly. Winslow manages that task, which will probably shock many listeners. Overall, Left of the Right Direction is an album that needs to be heard, because there is nothing more fun than realizing your expectations were wrong, and also because Winslow seem to have captured a sound all their own that will delight your ears.
Catch the band on one of their many dates this spring/summer and buy concert tickets here.