Released on the 19th of July, ‘Wish You Well’ is the highly anticipated follow-up to Philadelphia-based rock outfit, 1FM’s debut EP, ‘Burning Bridges’, which was released in May of 2015. To celebrate the release, 1FM will also host an event in August in their hometown. Originally founded with three members, the band has evolved into the five-piece outfit that it is today.
Produced by Bruce Wiegner of ‘Overlook Studios’, 1FM’s latest EP is said, to not just be a statement of the band’s continued relevance, but it’s a declaration of their ability to grow and evolve as a musical entity. “During the process we discovered how much we’ve grown as individuals and as a band,” said Tim Laigaie, one of the founding members. “I definitely think that shows in the five songs on this EP. We couldn’t be more excited for the release.”
The group’s current configuration consists of Laigaie on vocals, Nick Passio on vocals and guitar, Joe Altomari on drums, and newcomers D.J. Kirk and Danny Kirk on bass and guitar, respectively. The first time I heard this EP, the headphones just about exploded with all the energy that was coming out of the opening track, “Fire In The City”.
Whoever said that in order for something to be catchy, it has to be cliched, obviously has not heard this album yet. Every song hooks you, and unlike most new rock bands, the hook isn’t cheesy, overdone, or stolen from someone else. This EP blends the best of the old with the best of the new, giving rockers a delightful recording to rock out to.
Just about all the songs here on this EP are catchy and seem made for radio being friendly, but underneath that surface is a demonically rocking feel combined with a lot of emotion. And nothing epitomizes that statement than the title track – ‘Wish You Well’. After one listen to this song, few will doubt the songwriting ability of 1FM; this is pure adrenaline-soaked, punk, and alternative-rock-stomp, at its energizing best.
A change of tempo brings in the bristling “A Little Bit More” which has a tender verse wrapped around Godzilla-sized rock riffs and anthemic harmonies. I’ll never forget the giant feeling of satisfaction I felt when the melodic riffs supported by the air-like verses turned into massive angst-filled choruses on “Another Thing”.
“Four Letter Word” is probably the Ep’s radio-ready, ear-candy candidate. Sophisticated but raw, this track has everything – melody, crunchy guitars, sweeping strings, and those giant choruses that just cannot be ignored. Once this gets inside your head, you’ll be singing it for days on end… I know I was!
As with most great collections, ‘Wish You Well’ outclasses many others by having each song complement another. It’s a whole, with variety that lets you breathe for a second, before going into the atmosphere of another classy alternative rock song.
This album is an emotional roller-coaster right to the end, and one of the most uplifting and engaging rock albums available right now. The highlight of this monumental collection of songs depends entirely on your own personal taste, but all these songs contain tons of melody with epic choruses and intelligent, emotional lyrics.
It’s not often an album this special and this well produced comes along. Not even in the major league, let alone the indie market. And no self-respecting fan of the alternative rock genre should be without it!