When a band gets a song on MTV's Real World, maybe even two, it's possible that it's just a lucky fluke. But not five! Five songs takes something special. That's exactly how many times the pop/ punk boys from Illinois, Slingshot 57, were played on "Season 10: Back to New York." Add to the fact, their debut album Five Smooth Stones, produced by Barry Blair (formerly of Audio Adrenaline and Bleach production fame) and Todd Gililand, this makes for something hard to pass up.
Here's a simple recreation of what happened on the day MTV called. "Hi, I'm from MTV's Real World. We would love to use some of your songs on our show." The band replies, "That would be great but we're not changing our lyrics." This sets the tone for the album. Faith-soaked lyrics seeping through each song with music that knows no "religious" barriers. The album begins with "Alright," a fast paced rock song that chewed me up, spit me out, and left me singing along. "Long Sleeves" is another highlight that punk and melodic fans alike will absolutely love. This has all the distinct features of a song any indie rock fan would love. "Another Go Around" keeps up with the pack with a melody filled punk rock anthem. "Crystal's Song" slows down the pace, as it is bluntly about lead singer Ben Woods girlfriend or now his wife. "Closer," the final track on the album, solidifies this 7 song EP as a great debut. A ballad that shows the simplistic, amazing song writing ability of the band, this leaves the listener on a good note.
There's no doubt that this is not the last we will hear from Slingshot 57. I have heard upcoming tracks from their next debut and it's safe to say that it gets better; if you believe that possible. By the way, those new songs will be played on two episodes of the upcoming Real World in Chicago, so keep your ears peeled. With the right label home, the Christian/ Secular barrier will once again fall, this time at the feet of these five hometown Illinois boys of Slingshot 57.- Review date: 12/24/01, written by Blake Garris
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