Streetside Vinyl hail from Bakersfield, California, and it’s impossible to deny the influence of California’s sweeping musical heritage in their debut album. Even at just seven tracks long, If There’s A Hope is a daring and individual effort, jam-packed with laid back pop rhythms and storming rock anthems.
While the album begins with a brilliant classic rock style riff in ‘I Have My Reasons’, it takes it a short while to really get going. The vocals falter slightly in that opening track and it takes the chorus a little bit to build up into a fantastically sarcastic ‘la la la la’, but as the track goes on, it bolsters in confidence and brings forth a great outro. ‘Promises and Rings’ is a nice, chilled out affair and very reminiscent of that early 2000s Decaydance scene, but the real gem in Streetside Vinyl’s crown is ‘Enough With The Tricks’. With a bit of anger behind the vocals, the track really hits its stride. The guitar work is absolutely incredible, the bass is entrancing and there’s no doubt that Streetside Vinyl is filled with very talented musicians. Building to an outstanding crescendo, this is the track that will cement Streetside Vinyl’s reputation as keen and intelligent songwriters.
It’s not to say that it’s all downhill from there either; absolutely far from it. The band experiment a little more with their sound in ‘Still Searching’, adding some sweet piano riffs throughout and ‘His Name Is Chaos’ utilises a dual-vocal approach for maximum intensity. The record is produced to a very high standard, and a lot of the tracks lead into each other perfectly, leading to a very fluid and well constructed sound. As well as high-octane rock hits, Streetside Vinyl aren’t too shabby at ballads either. ‘Castles and Crossroads’ is a beautiful slow burner of a track, and although the lyrics are a little bit cheesy, they’re quick to sink into your cortex, leaving you singing along for days. The album ends on ‘Escape’, an optimistic ode to the road. The journey certainly begins here – almost all of the tracks on If There’s A Hope have that huge arena potential, perfect for a summer festival, and it’s only a matter of time before Streetside Vinyl hit it huge.
4 out of 5 high fives!