Last summer, my roommate and I caught wind of a last minute Joey Cape (Lagwagon) / Tony Sly (No Use For A Name) acoustic show at the Charm City Art Space in Baltimore, MD. Being that the music of both of these men was of paramount importance to us during our most impressionable years, we dropped everything and hauled ass to the show. In a situation as monumental as seeing these two legends belt out their hits in a venue as intimate as the Art Space is, the least of our concerns was who would be opening this show. It could have been any random band wallowing in the shallow pool of mediocrity, but instead we were treated to one of the most pleasant musical surprises in recent memory... the Holliston, Massachusetts indie punk/power pop trio, The Young Leaves. In the year since that show, I have been in constant contact with the band and remained in great suspense over the release of their newest LP, Alive and Well.

While the previous works of this band are all fantastic pieces of music in their own right, Alive and Well is the first release where I feel that the sound that I heard on that hot summer night in Baltimore was actually captured on a record. The sound is a no-frills, hook-driven collection of songs written from a broken yet hopeful heart and it should fit right into your record collection along side your copies of Elvis Costello's My Aim Is True, Weston's Got Beat Up or pretty much anything Bob Mould or J. Mascis ever wrote.

I find it to be very rare in this day and age that a band completely catches me off guard and The Young Leaves have certainly done that. Much like the groups listed in the "similar bands" section of this review, I hope to see my record collection grow with future release from this trio.

If anything I've said in this review piques your interest... do yourself a favor and get this record ASAP.

The Young Leaves Alive and Well is available for preorder now over at Baldy Longhair Records and will be released on October 1st!