After undergoing quite a radical line-up change, Austin, Texas' The Rocketboys have returned with Build Anyway, their second full length album. Three members, including two from the original line-up, departed leaving front-man Brandon Kinder, keyboardist Justin Wiseman and bassist Josh Campbell to either pick up the pieces or dis-band altogether. Luckily the three decided to press on with the help of drummer Josh Rodgers and violinist Claire Meade and the result is a solid entry into the melodic rock field.
The Rocketboys music is soaringly melodic indie rock, something that hooks me every time as long as there are hooks within the music. The songs on Build Anyway are rich with harmonic background vocals, memorable choruses and uplifting moments. Kinder has a voice built for this style of music and it is commanding on each track, even in quieter moments like the ballad "These Are Hard Times", which still manages to pack a wallop at the end.
With songs like the album opening stormer "Bloodless" and the confessional "A Liar", it may be hard to understand calling their music uplifting when you listen to the lyrics, but the majesty of the music carries these songs, despite the exploration of some darker life moments. The journey comes to an end with the hopeful "The Best", bringing closure to a lot of the turmoil the rest of the album describes. Certainly being a band on the brink of falling apart led to some of the subject matter here and it is a deeply affecting work worthy of wider exposure.
Build Anyway was self-released by the band as a download on June 5, 2012. A CD is available from Amazon.com as of June 22.