Style: The alternative rock of The Killers and indie rock of Death Cab for Cutie
Top tracks: "Mess of Me," "This Is the Sound," "Sing It Out"
The evolution of Switchfoot has been interesting. Ever since veteran producer Charlie Peacock signed the San Diego-based band to his re:think label thirteen years ago, the resilient rockers have gone from being an emerging West Coast Christian music-oriented outfit to an internationally-known modern rock collective.
When 2003's The Beautiful Letdown went multi-platinum and elevated them to celebrity status, a whirlwind of media and touring obligations left little time for leisure inspiration. But with a somewhat diminished profile in more recent years, and frontman Jon Foreman's extracurricular exploits (both solo and as "Fiction Family" with Nickel Creek's Sean Watkins) sparking new ideas, the seasoned musicians decided to re-introduce, if not reinvent, their smorgasbord of power pop/rock on their first release with Atlantic, Hello Hurricane.
Using their self-built home studio, the prolific collective churned 80-plus songs, relentlessly fine-tuning the final 12 tracks until they felt just right. As a result, this record boasts more than epic melodies or fine song craftsmanship and primo production. Hello Hurricane may be the first record Switchfoot can truly call all its own.
"Needle in a Haystack" kicks off the record's "hope in the midst of chaos" theme with wall-to-wall guitars and a double-time pace that re-energizes perceptions of Switchfoot from the get-go. "Mess of Me" continues the high-octane guitars and drums, incorporating a searing guitar/vocal duet in the bridge where Foreman acknowledges "There ain't no drug/The sickness is myself," before vowing to move forward in a spirit ...1