Album Review: Standard Affiliates – Standard (Winner NMF Ep. 66)

The sound of the Standard Affiliates might be one of your new favorite things. You could call it indie rock or just really good infectious, guitar-laden indie pop. Either way, this album is the sign of some really exciting things to come from a really enjoyable new band.

“Is it news to you?” begins the album with a pop rock vibe and tons of raw energy. The harmonies on the chorus are really enjoyable. The lyrics come through clear (proving that this is indeed possible for a rock band to articulate). The lyrics are a nice blend of a sort of “what might have been” set of questions and distancing yourself from a relationship.

The following “Shack” has a rip roaring sound to it. The drums are the defining characteristic in the opening, but it’s quickly passed off to the lead guitar. The vocal on this one reminds me of a folk band called Branches that we covered a few years ago. There’s something about the style of the beat that feels like a late 90s alt rock band sort of like 311.

“Naive” is a bit less polished overall, but it does move along nicely. The lyrics are a bit more introspective than the first few tracks. “Paint it Gold” has a nice punk-based style to it, with some nicely punctuated chords. The lead vocal works nicely on this one, soaring over the chords well. The lyrics discuss the promise of a potential relationship with a healthy dose of being jaded. I actually really connect with this one.

The final track “Daydreams” might be a case of saving the “best for last.” Some of the glowing guitar effects on this track put it in a different category. I can totally picture chillin at a fun little venue straight bouncing to this track with about 70 other people. Something about it feels charmingly 80s while also still unique to right now.

If you can’t tell, this is a nice little EP that introduces us to the promise of the future with the Standard Affiliates. We’re super stoked that our readers voted them for this victory. Now we’d love if you’d share this with your friends who like finding those emerging smoke-filled venue bands like these guys. They deserve our plays and our praise.

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