Review by Shannon Shumaker
Strong guitar riffs, pounding bass and drums, and vocals that demand your attention bring in Minority 905’s new album, Broken Not Beaten, hooking you right off the bat. High energy in the instrumentals and well controlled vocals are high points of Broken Not Beaten, carrying it forward track after track.
“Hit & Run” opens up the album, and it’s impossible not to hear the Green Day influences in both the bass work and vocals, but thankfully, Minority 905 establish their own sound very quickly, making it easy to take them at face value without trying to compare them to other artists. “Crossroads” follows the opening track with some incredible instrumentation and vocal melodies, especially in the guitar solo toward the end of the song.
Something that you are bound to notice right away about Broken Not Beaten is how crisp and polished the vocals are. They really shine on each and every track, which is a great quality, but at times, they can tend to sound almost a little too polished, if that makes sense. Musically, Broken Not Beaten absolutely delivers, and on some of these more grungy, punk tracks, the well controlled vocals can sound a little out of place - you almost want them to let loose a little bit more. That being said, however, vocalist John Aquino absolutely shows off his spectacular vocal abilities on this album, and there are definitely some moments where he does let loose and open up, letting the emotion and raw energy shine through - those are some of the best moments on the album.
“Hesitated,” for instance, tells a story of longing and regret, and the vocals absolutely mimic this. With a more emotional edge to them, you can really hear the frustration and longing behind the song, which sounds perfect with the full and and the beautiful guest vocals, supplied by Gabi Kennific.
The energy on Broken Not Beaten, even on sadder, slower songs like “Hesitated” is definitely one of its high points. The pounding drum and strong bass keep things chugging forward, and there really isn’t a single boring guitar part. A great example of all of the instruments working well together is in the fourth track, “Shadow.” While the vocals definitely spearhead the song, there isn’t one instrument that outshines the other, and the backing vocals and subtle harmonies are a great touch, as well.
“Thousand Glasses” serves as a perfect middle track, standing out because of the acoustic guitar that kicks it off, and continues throughout the entire song, even after the full band comes in. Songs like “Thousand Glasses” and “Moonwalker” really stand out because of the acoustic work. The way that “Moonwalker” transitions and grows into the full band is also worth noting, as it is one of the best transitions on the album. Not the mention, the emotion is palpable in the vocals on this track.
Another standout is the album’s title track. The piano is not only unexpected, but the perfect fit for the song, especially with the message of hope that drives it forward. “Twist Of Fate” follows and is a call for action. The backing vocals and drums really keep the song chugging forward, as it is aggressive, passionate, and larger than life. “Twist Of Fate” is the perfect second to last song, as it’s loud and in your face, promising that Minority 905 aren’t giving up any time soon.
Broken Not Beaten is a journey well worth listening to. While some of the songs in the beginning of the album can tend to sound a little similar, Minority 905 are not predictable by any means, and the second half of the album is a testament to that. From emotional tracks like “Broken, Not Beaten” and “Hesitated” to high energy punk tracks like “Twist Of Fate,” there is a wide range of emotions and sounds on Broken Not Beaten, making this album the perfect sampler if this is your first time listening to Minority 905, and will be sure to keep you satisfied if you’re familiar with the band.
Listen to "Broken, Not Beaten" or "Shadow"
STAY CONNECTED WITH MINORITY 905: https://www.facebook.com/Minority905/