Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The Windowsill- Showboating

Besides of course my greatest amore Italy, the Netherlands are also a big part of where my interest goes to when punk rock/pop punk in Europe is concerned. The Apers were the first love I found from the latter well over a decade ago, so I most certainly have a fondness for the songwriting of one Marien Nicotine. After leaving the band in 2007, he returned in 2011 with a batch of new songs and this was the start of his new project, The Windowsill. In seeing this band contains some wonderful players of the punk rock world, I was quickly interested and then easily won over in just hearing track one of their self titled debut LP. They've had a couple splits since as well, but a few songs are never enough for a girl like me so it was elating news to see there would be a new full length. I've been bugging poor Marien on a nearly daily basis ever since a track was first leaked to let me hear the rest. My tactics have since paid off and after being completely absorbed by it for the last week, I'd like to tell you about a fantastic record called "Showboating"!  

The songs were recorded, mixed, and mastered over the course of fall to the summer of 2012 by the ever talented Simon Speechless at Simon Baken Audio Engineering. His masterful skill came through once again and the sound is perfect. Staying in the tradition of non complicated imagery, Marien and Ivo put together the cover and layout which is just a simple diagram of a boat. The official release date was just this past Friday, June 27th which they played a show for and if you weren't able to make it, you can find it on Shield Recordings or Monster Zero. It is available in the form of a really nice looking white LP with digital download, CD, or just digital only from the Shield bandcamp. For everyone outside of Europe, sit tight! Some copies will be making their way over to Interpunk and I will keep you posted on that.

"Showboating" starts out making just as strong of a statement as was made on the previous record. You know right away it's The Windowsill with their well defined 90's pop punk sound, holding a really heavy dose of pop sensibility. Marien's vocal tone sounds great as always having nice balance of snottiness and genuine sweetness at the same time. That combined with SimonJerry and Sander's perfectly catchy harmonies had the first track "Motorbike", a beautifully arranged mid-tempo song about lost love stuck in my head right away. I think one of the things I enjoy most about these songs is Marien's fantastic ability to be really intimate as a lyricist but still making them easily connectable to me as a listener in the way they're delivered. It's always cool when someone can well illustrate a personal moment like that through songwriting. Love in both good and bad moments is the predominant theme in this record which I have zero issues with as a terminally hopeless romantic but there are also other topics like in the next track "Slaved Away" dealing with the stress of a 9 to 5 schedule. I like the way it abruptly ends with the last line of "I'm just trying to forget". I TOTALLY love all three of the songs that were leaked ahead of the release, "In Riddles", "Smiling Back At Me", and "Phone Call Away" which were a good representation of the range on this record but I choose "Cold Lonely And Sad" as my number one. The rhythm it's sang in, Jerry's bass lines, and Ivo's tempo make it extremely infectious and one I caught myself singing along to right away. Amazing song! Another one of my favorites lands at the end called "You Belonged To Me". It's an excellent ballad and close to the record.

Simply put, The Windowsill made a brilliant second record and I think it would be a great addition to anyone's collection who was a fan of the last one or who has yet to discover them and enjoys really well played pop punk songs. "Showboating" is just as good and a definite step up in progress for the guys, so go give the few songs they have up on youtube a listen, stay tuned to their facebook page because a full stream of the record will be up tomorrow, and place an order. This awesome band is very deserving of your attention!

The Windowsill are...
Ivo Backbreaker- Drums
Jerry Hormone- Bass, Vocals
Sander Wired- Guitar, Vocals
Marien Nicotine- Vocals, Guitar

Additional contributors...
Simon Speechless- Additional guitar & vocals

All songs written by Marien Nicotine except where noted.

1. Motorbike 
2. Slaved Away
3. Colour Grey
4. Smiling Back At Me 
5. In Riddles
6. New York Sweater
7. Cold Lonely And Sad
8. Phone Call Away
9. Hibernate 
10. Die Out Here 
11. She Gave Back Her Key
12. You Belonged To Me 

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