There is rarely a better feeling than that moment you realize you thought you had something pegged and it turns out to be much, much better.
That precise moment, musically at least, came to me in the form of Music For Television. Jared Putnam is back at the helm for The March Divide with the quick follow up to February’s Music For Film. Although this round, it takes no time at all for Putnam to hit his stride and this music fan to be sucked in.
Combining The March Divide’s angsty punk-folk style with an incredibly passionate web of lyrical brilliance, the consistency and draw achieved in these seven songs is one of a kind. There were hints to this in the previous release, but it hits head on with this entire EP.
The album digs through a style that is certain to draw associations with early REM but I can’t help but find myself seeing this as a sound I’ve never quite experienced. Though both Music For… releases are looked at as a whole large body of work, according to Putnam, this feels more cohesive and plays as such. There are insanely addicting hooks both in words and instrumentals, like the opening to “Like I Do” or the anger-filled ache of “LA,” that will have you finding something to cling to with minimal effort. The first single, “So It Goes,” demonstrates the collective vision of the trio (Jared Putnam, drummer Mike Hernandez and bassist Jeremy Brooks) as it draws on punk influence against a singer/songwriter façade. The March Divide as a whole is a new breed of Punk- Folk – Polk? Fonk? – that, in the opinion of this music fan, is unlike anything else; kudos to you gents.
I admit, I was not one to fully jump on The March Divide bus with the debut album, but with the release of Music For Television I am running down the road, churning my legs as hard as they will go, flailing my arms and screaming for them to slow down and let me on. Call it shame on me, call it bandwagon, call it what you will, but I will humbly say, lesson learned.