Yesterday, the governor of Ohio named June 2 as the day that all orders related to you-know-what would be dropped in Ohio. While I’m too not-an-expert to adequately weigh whether or not that’s a good decision, it’s a benchmark moment after an unbelievable year. The name of the band Suit Up, Soldier can be taken as a call to arms in a way. While it seems like one brave new world is being exchanged for another, it seems this band aims to be your soundtrack to the optimistic future.
Vocalist Wesley Monahan (no relation to SNL’s Bobby Moynihan, which is where my mind first went) has been developing the band in the Provo, Utah music scene for quite awhile. This begs the question, “what is the Provo scene like?” Methinks I have inspiration for another bands-to-watch piece, but I digress. This album is the result of Wesley and his newer (but still seasoned) bandmates McKay “Spartacus” Johnson and Ryan “Stingray” Rostram collectively saying “yep, it’s ready” after letting the project marinate for awhile.
This album, appropriately titled Curse the Day I Act My Age, isn’t as angsty as one might expect. But it’s chock full of infectious moments. COIN and The Band CAMINO come to mind. While bands in the Walk the Moon/Imagine Dragons/X Ambassadors–inspired scene seem to be dime-a-dozen flash in the pans, it’s clear that Suit Up, Soldier intends for this album to be a sort of resume for what they can do to both the industry powers that be and the casual music listener. Listening to mid tempo tracks like “Hush” and “Kaleidoscope” it’s easy to picture singing along at a summer festival but hard to pick out from a sea of indie pop rock groups. Transition to to “Villains” and you realize you’re dealing with something to be reckoned with. It’s almost always when you think you have the songs pegged as cookie cutter that the band throws in a curveball, almost as if to admonish music bloggers like me for jumping to conclusions—in a friendly way, of course.
A real curveball is thrown our way in “Crying in College,” which reminds me of the 1975’s intro track to their A Brief Inquiry to Online Relationships album. But what follows isn’t a rip off of “Give Yourself A Try,” but rather a soaring pop anthem that would be at home alongside “Eye of The Tiger” on a party playlist.
For as many people in my camp who find the band fun and promising, there will be those who find the music to be derivative. But, I ask you—what music isn’t derivative to some extent? I think this album functions well as a roadmap for where they can head in the future. There are a number of ideas I could see being expanded upon and made into a concept record. Put Provo on the map, Gents!