Have you ever had that one person you went, either figuratively or literally, to fisticuffs with only to find that you would become good friends?
Well I have done that a few times. And while I didn’t necessarily challenge a one Mr. Jared Putnam to any formal battle, I was not one to dote over his initial work. Realizing my misguided ways and the quality of his musical development, The March Divide quickly became one of my more appreciated sounds.
With the release of Billions, where I admittedly looked for a “Music For” beginning, the development of the emo/post-punk sound that has given The March Divide wings soars to new heights. A 50/50 for what I have previously reviewed from the March Divide I was slightly hesitant, but after my first go, and the addictive repeats I realized that the title can really only mean one thing; the number of times you’ll listen to this record.
The acoustic swagger and slick electric licks go together on Billions like attitude and change. This is, hands down, one of the more entertaining, well rounded records I have come across this year. Each track is pure addiction to me with the strongest hit coming off “Come Apart.” The ten songs seem to fit the changing seasons, the current state of the world we’re in, and speak to a very personal level. Any sense of edge or potential resentment from The March Divide that would allow itself to be labeled “emo” is lost to me under a shroud of honest lyrics, impressive vocals, a plethora of hooks, and a big sound formed from very little instrumentation. Emo doesn’t have this much feeling. Plainly put, I can’t see calling such an impressive release something so drivel as emo. No, The March Divide is a stride of musicianship at its current level of career that shins into the night sky like a post-punk beacon that would have Batman taking notice.
I have already expressed my error in not fully understanding what would become The March Divide but to dwell on that would be a disservice to where Jared Putnam has been. You can list the experiences he had with The Conversation but that too would be deflecting. Billions is a rich success for a very deserving musician.
Greg is a regular contributor and co-founder at Nanobot. While he and Mr. Putnam have never met in person, he has found a quality go-to friend in The March Divide.