I cringe a little bit every time I see it on a sticker on an album; “As Heard on Laguna Beach.” I’ve never watched the show to be honest, but from previews alone I’ve dubbed it as O.C. Jr. (I’ve never seen O.C. Sr. either, but that’s not important.) The Alternate Route’s “Good and Reckless and True” has one of those stickers. This is incredibly odd because the band is signed to Vanguard records, a label that’s known for folk/artistic music. The sticker gave me some preconceived notions, but those notions might have been premature after listening through the album.
“Ordinary” gets this album kicked off in a great way. It starts out pretty plain and with a yawn, but then it climbs into this arena-rock vibe that’s outstanding. From there the album moves into “Who Care’s which is another upbeat arena-rock type track. These tracks are actually the good tracks from The Alternate Routes. I have a feeling that these guys would be awesome to see in sound check because they can jam. Another great upbeat track is “Aftermath”, the guitar at the beginning is awesome, same goes for “Going Home with You.” I’m not that big of a fan of the band’s slower songs though. Everytime I hear the single “Time is a Runaway” I want to throw up and the third track “Hollywood” is eerily similar to that track, not necessarily in song, but definitely in mood. Yikes. Luckily, the peppy songs outnumber the dreary songs.
This isn’t a bad debut for The Alternate Routes. There are 4 or 5 songs on this album that are killer, and there are some other tracks that are serial killers. The band’s at a great label, I will say that. So this band will continue to grow and mature how it wants to. This album will make you bob your head, the next album will blow your mind.