Alive in Barcelona is here to stay.
Hailing from Spokane, Washington, hard rock band, Alive in Barcelona, dropped their self-titled debut album last Friday. Signed to Smartpunk Records, Alive in Barcelona packs quite the punch on their collaboration-filled album. With an Architects and Area 11-like sound, this band, fronted by vocalist Matt Hoos, has what it takes to make it in their arguably crowded scene.
Igniting the airwaves in 2016 with their first single, “Back to Life,” Alive in Barcelona pulled off a #94 rating on Media Base along with a #42 rank on the Under the Radar charts. This is a well-deserved charting status, considering “Back to Life” is lyrically one, if not the most, memorable track on the self-titled record. The instrumentals, specifically the string work performed by members, Jesse Barton, Cameron Douthat, and Colton Anderson, is unique to the hard rock genre as well. Check it out below:
On top of already being instrumentally talented, the five-piece band has the support of Joe Buras of Born of Osiris on the slightly heavier “The Convalescence.” They even have a collaboration piece with Craig Mabbitt of Escape the Fate on the record as well.
“Zombies,” the Mabbitt featured track, is lyrically one of the stronger tracks on Alive in Barcelona. With a video concerned with the downfall of human interactions and the uprising of technological addiction, this one is pretty emotional whence you understand the meaning behind it. It is pretty memorable, too.
Overall, Alive in Barcelona revolves on a gloomy yet uplifting axis. Topics such as anxiety, depression, and loss are continual themes throughout each song. “The Fight” hones in on the weight of suicidal thoughts and depression, while “Know My Name” focuses on leaving a legacy behind when everything comes to an inevitable end.
Let’s not forget that this album has a slight Beartooth sound to it as well. It’s hidden in there. Just a sliver – especially on “Know My Name.” - maybe more.
Moving on, “House of Memories” is written about band member, Jesse Barton, and how he had to gather up belongings following the death of his father. It is also one of the more instrumentally heavy tracks on Alive in Barcelona.
Sadly, in terms of instrumental work, Alive in Barcelona falls victim to repetition on their debut. “Sleight of Hands” is a bit repetitive, and it does not stand out all that much from other songs within the hard rock genre already. Even so, “Time Changes Everything” echoes the early piano work of Farewell, My Love while remaining original.
On the plus side, “Life for Love” contains many technical elements that make for a diverse track. These elements should have been incorporated into the record more. Still, listeners cannot always get what they want. “Worth the Wait” could have been a brilliant piano track; however, it just lacks a distinct sound to separate it from other slowed down tracks on heavier rock albums.
To conclude, Alive in Barcelona is just getting started, and their self-titled album is by no means a flop. Yes, it has flaws, but there are definitely more positives than negatives. The band just needs to find a way to break out of the shadows of those bigger than them.
Standout Tracks: “Back to Life,” “Life for Love,” and “Zombies”
Alive in Barcelona is currently on a headline tour, and they will be touring with Alesana and the Red Jumpsuit Apparatus in the future. Dates are below, and for more information and ticket sales, head on over to aliveinbarcelona.com.
ALIVE IN BARCELONA LIVE:
March 1—San Jose, CA—X Bar
March 3—Phoenix, AZ—Rebel Lounge
March 4—Fullerton, CA—Slidebar
March 5—Flagstaff, AZ—The Green Room
March 7—Austin, TX—Texas Mist
March 9—Houston, TX—Secret Group
March 13—Denver, CO—Seventh Circle Music
March 14—Boise, ID—Shredder
WITH ALESANA AND RED JUMPSUIT APPARATUS:
April 6—Greensboro, NC—Arizona Petes
April 7—Baltimore, MD—Fish Head Cantina
April 9—Pittsburgh, PA—Crafthouse
April 10—Lancaster, PA—Chameleon House
April 11—Asbury Park, NJ—Asbury Lanes
April 12—Brooklyn, NY—Kingsland
April 13—Easton, PA—One Centre Square
April 14—Cincinnati, OH—River Front Live
April 15—Joliet, IL—The Forge
April 16—Kansas City, MO—The Riot Room
April 18—Houston, TX—Scout Bar
April 19—Corpus Christi TX—House of Rock
April 20—Dallas, TX—Trees
April 21—Austin, TX—Come & Take It Live
April 22—Tyler, TX—Crossroads Music Venue
Freelance Writer and Photographer