Adelaine, Currents

Adelaine, <em>Currents</em>

Okay, this going to sound bad — potentially really bad — but I promise, if you bear with me, you’ll (hopefully) see that it’s not.

See, as the two munchkins who live in my home get older and speak more, they tend to point out things that the larger beings in the household don’t necessarily notice. In this case, when I put on Adelaine’s new album, Currents, while the nine-year-old was in the car, the first words out of her mouth were, “Is this Demi Lovato?” When I said no, it wasn’t, the second set of words was, “Oh, then is this Adelaine?”

While it’d never occurred to me that there might be any similarity from this quintet of scrappy, earnest alternarockers from the north end of Houston and the crashed-and-burned-and-recovered Disney pop star, as soon as my daughter opened her mouth, it kind of clicked into place. I listened again, and okay, yeah, I could hear some similarities.

Now, to the members of Adelaine, two things: 1) I’m sorry, and 2) this isn’t a bad thing. Really. Why? Well, for one thing, the Demi Lovato my daughter likes isn’t new-album, post-meltdown Demi Lovato, but rather the Demi Lovato from 2009’s Here We Go Again, which isn’t a bad album, believe it or not. It’s a solid melodic rock album, once you get past the Disney-pop label.

For another thing, the comparison makes sense because at their core, both that album and Currents are about the same overarching theme: being young. Currents is about youth, more than anything else; it’s about growing up, leaving home, and finding your way, and all that that entails. Because frankly — speaking as somebody who lived through it, albeit not recently — that period after high school’s over and your actual “real life” begins is freaking scary.

It really, truly is. Yes, there’s a great freedom to that time of your life, and there’s something beautiful about finding out who you are and deciding where you want to go, but for the first time, hey, you’re on your own. There’s family and friends, of course, but at the end of the day, you are flying solo and responsible for every choice you make.

That’s what I hear throughout Adelaine’s new album; where their previous EP was more angry and righteous, Currents is introspective and uncertain, while holding tight to the band’s loud, overdriven, Jimmy Eat World-esque melodic rock. Singer/frontwoman Stormy Piña comes across here as more vulnerable than before, feeling lost in the world and unsure where she’s headed (see “I Once Knew” in particular), but at the same time she’s got her head held high, defiant and proud (see “Two Cents,” “Bad Blood,” and “Antidote,” for three).

There’s a truly amazing honesty to all of it, too, a sincerity that I can’t help but be won over by. This isn’t some cookie-cutter band that met for the first time in a studio somewhere — they’re a band that was very obviously friends first and then decided to make music together second, and it comes through in the music they’ve made here.

Musically (beyond the, um, D.L. thing), Currents hits a lot of sweet spots for me, from dearly-departed local rockers While You Were Gone to Austin mainstays Cruiserweight — Piña’s vocals here truly remind me of Stella Maxwell — to aforementioned emo icons Jimmy Eat World, and it comes together beautifully. The guitars roar up-close in your ears, the rhythm sections pounds and hammers just as loud as it needs to (no louder), and the vocals soar and rage just like they should.

In the end, Adelaine plays smart, heartfelt guitar-rock that’s loud and honest and questioning, trying to figure out its place in the world. If that makes people (like, say, my kid) think of a Disney pop-rock star who at one point happened to sound similar, who cares, so long as it’s as good as this?

[Adelaine is playing its CD release show 4/27/13 at Wildwood UMC in Magnolia, along with Sumerlin, Castle Lights, Carter, & The Greatest View.]
(Mosaic Artistry Group --; Adelaine --; Adelaine (Facebook) --; Adelaine (Twitter) --
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Review by . Review posted Saturday, April 27th, 2013. Filed under Features, Reviews.

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One Response to “Adelaine, Currents

  1. SPACE CITY ROCK » Yr. Weekend, Pt. 2: Clinic + No Joy + Adelaine + Holy Fiction + Square and Compass + Kristine Mills + Houston Celtic Festival + More on March 7th, 2014 at 8:59 am

    […] Lights/Carter/The Greatest View @ Wildwood UMC (Magnolia; 6PM, $10) Just got a review online for Adelaine‘s brand-new album Currents, which the band is releasing this evening up at […]

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