Review: The Expendables – Sand In The Sky

Review: The Expendables – Sand In The Sky

The Expendables – Sand In The Sky
TheExpendablesTrack Listing:
1.) Starry Night
2.) Music Move Me
3.) Anti Social
4.) We Are The Fire
5.) Up All Night
6.) That Spark
7.) Weather Man
8.) Take Me
9.) Zombies In America
10.) Nothing I Wouldn’t Do
11.) Black Heart
12.) Stereo

The Pier Album Rating:

Release Date: January 13th, 2015
Record Label: Stoopid Records
Official Website: The Expendables Website

Artist Background:
The Expendables are the Santa Cruz, CA quartet of Geoff Weers (guitar/vocals), Adam Patterson (drums/vocals), Raul Bianchi (lead guitar) and Ryan DeMars (bass). The band formed in 1997 and is best known for high energy live shows and a blend of 80’s style guitar riffs, reggae and punk. Sand In the Sky is The Expendables six full length album since 1997, and the long awaited follow-up to 2010’s Prove It. The band’s recent release was produced by Butthole Surfer guitarist and celebrated producer Paul Leary (Sublime, Slightly Stoopid, U2, Weezer).

Album Review:
In some ways, The Expendables stayed true to their formula on Sand In the Sky, and in other ways, they went soft—again. The band’s mix of rock, reggae, punk, and, most importantly, 1980’s guitar tones and riffs are what set The Expendables apart in an increasingly crowded reggae-rock genre. Bottom line, it is these heavy guitar tones and riffs that make The Expendables, The Expendables. But, unfortunately there is a noticeable shortage on Sand In the Sky.

On the production side, the album mix is great, and even with a lot going on in many of the songs, the instruments occupy their own space. The one downside is Weers’ voice gets lost at times amongst the swirling guitars, keys and vocal effects.

Sand In the Sky is full of likeable songs and has a little bit for everyone, featuring some love songs, some rock songs, record scratching and even a little pop. Tunes like “Starry Night”, “Anti Social” and “We Are The Fire” are rock inspired. “We Are The Fire” has a catchy chorus and melody, along with a rock edge. This tune is sure to be a fan favorite and a kick ass live performance. “That Spark”,”Nothing That I Wouldn’t Do”, “Up All Night” and “Black Heart” are for those who are suckers for a love song. Tunes like “Zombies in America” and “Stereo” have infectious grooves, with the latter song featuring a tasty guitar solo about a quarter of the way through the song.

Sand In the Sky is a solid release by The Expendables. There are several likeable tracks, but, in general, the album lacks The Expendables signature punch. Fans know the band has a “soft side” and in some ways Sand In the Sky further exposed this side—both with arrangements and lyrics. The band’s notable guitar riffs and rock edge are not gone, but they are less obvious. This leaves Sand In the Sky in the unfortunate middle ground in the reggae-rock genre.

Written & Reviewed By: Kit Chalberg

[Editors Note: All reviews are reflective of the album in it’s entirety, from start to finish. These reviews are the honest opinion of each writer/reviewer expressing their feedback as a genuine fan of the music. Each star rating reflects their review of the album, NOT the band. Music is subjective. Regardless of the review or star rating, we encourage you to listen to the music yourself & form your own opinion. Spread the awareness of all music in its art & contribution]

Watch: The Expendables – “Music Move Me”