Army Navy first appeared on the indie pop music scene back in 2008 with their debut self titled album and recently played at The Roxy this past May. Now the Los Angeles based group is back with the release of their sophomore album “The Last Place”. With personal heartbreak as the main topic of choice, you may expect the drum beats and guitars to carry a pretty melancholic tone. However, Army Navy delivers upbeat tracks that make the stories of breakup sound a lot more quirkier than usual.
With opening track “Last Legs”, spinning guitar riffs and rock driven drums take the front stage, and only features a mere moment of acoustic guitar before the track explodes with frontman Justin Kennedy’s vocals. Quirky piano, quick fingered bass, and in sync percussions support Kennedy on “Ode to Janice” as he details the bitterness surrounding a relationship gone sour with his former flame.
“I think it’s gonna happen” is another track that’s executed with hard-hitting drums from start to finish and is joined with looping guitar riffs. Things don’t stay steady as the chorus blows up with even more resounding drums and unwavering harmonies while the guitars go on a fiasco of their own.
With “Wonderland to Waterloo”, the flair of the previous track settles as Army Navy take things down a notch with whiny guitars and steady percussions as Kennedy continues to pour his heart out through soft-spoken vocals and heartfelt lyrics.
Distorted guitars and serene vocals open up the track “Open your Eyes”, but things change pace and before you know it, the chorus takes everything a step further with soaring harmonies and show off guitar work that Army Navy has never displayed before.
Closing track “Pastoral” is a six minute ballad that keeps the mid- tempo, guitar-driven and percussion-blaring formula that the majority of the tracks have, and here Kennedy blares out for the final time just how many little pieces his heart was shattered into, before piano and nonchalant whistling help close the curtain on a pretty vivid album.
Pop-infectious grooves and guitar-driven tracks make up a narrative about a man’s journey with the sad reality of a doomed relationship. Of course, you would never guess that with the upbeat tempo and quirky performance every track offers. Army Navy takes the rough reality of post-breakup woes and makes feeling bad, not so bad after all.
Stephanie Gomez-Roxy Contributor