For No One
Written by Adela Skowronski
The opening hits of Indifference — title track off the debut EP from Chicago band Where’s Fernando? — are your standard, perfectly panned, rhythm guitar power chords. Angsty rock music staples. Those, coupled with mid-range, slightly betrayed male vocals, got me guessing within the first few seconds about the kind of album this debut was going to be.
Young Foo Fighter wannabes. Fun, but standard. Nothing that ventured far from the pop-punk making up about 60% of any Chicagoland radio station’s submission drive.
I was wrong.
Not even halfway through the first track, and Where’s Fernando? already makes their musicianship known. Unexpected key changes, use of dissonant guitar lines in the chorus, are sprinkles of music theory in a otherwise familiar, and angsty, young adult stew.
The rest of the album continues the balancing act of familiar versus strange. It definitely feels like a powerful alternative rock album: energy levels rarely dip outside of the Cage the Elephant-esque Look Around, or trippy instrumental track Rain Song/Connections. Yet everywhere you turn, little things are being turned upside down. Chords are descending chromatically instead of finishing 1 5 4 1, time is being experimented with, and not one song feels underdeveloped - to no one’s surprise, as all 4 band members studied music at DePaul.
While I don’t know who Fernando is or where he’s gone, this band is definitely off to a great start. From everyday rockers to musicians delving into experimentation, For No One is an album that, ironically enough, has songs for everybody. Especially for anyone who used to be an angsty teen.
QUICK SONG BREAKDOWN:
Look to the songs Indifference, Come On Now, and Ain’t Life Grand for pump up jams. Don’t miss the fun breakdown in Look Around, or the vocals that made me do a double take in Funesta. Favorite track out of the six has to be Rain Song/Connections. So many tasty guitar layers! It really does sound like rain....but sparkly rain....