WL Quick Tip: Schizophrenic in a good way, Vice Verseschronicles Switchfoot pushing both the heavy and mellow perspectives to deliver a multi-course, and satisfying, sonic meal.
Coming off of the Grammy-winning “Hello Hurricane,” with its accompanying stellar live shows, it would be easy for Switchfoot to ride the tide of popularity. Without a doubt, the core Switchfoot insignias are all present on their latest disc—but a closer look reveals that there’s some clear pushing going on around the edges of their collective box. Frontman Jon Foreman states that their newest offering Vice Verses is all about “polarity”—and, indeed, it’s in the extremes that the disc really shines.
Some of the music on Vice Verses actually hints at stepping up Switchfoot’s already formidable intensity level. The heavy riffing of “The Afterlife” and the pseudo-rap of “Selling the News” continue to push the modern rock envelope. Conversely, “Souvenirs” and the title track take things in the opposite direction, providing a sense of calm in the midst of constant change. Lyrically, this is the stuff of real life. “Rise Above It” laments that “I feel so typical,” and “Thrive” echoes with its acknowledgement that “I’m not alright.” There’s a clear desire expressed throughout to move toward growth and become more, ever nudging things bit by bit towards something better.
WL Playlist: “The Original,” “Dark Horses,” “Souvenirs,” “Vice Verses”
Album: Vice Verses
Publisher: Atlantic Records