For the Sake of Clarity is a the Arizona based Baseline's newborn baby. The EP features four tracks and encompasses a plethora of genres, lyrics, and instrumentations in order to suit a variety of listeners. Baselines lead singer, Michael Schuster, comments that the EP is about him, his experiences and the things he's gone through, and suggest that the band wrote it quite literally for the sake of clarity and to make peace, gain closure, and learn how to see and accept things in their truest form. Baseline holds a lot of excitement and ambiguity. Lets dive in!
The EP starts of with a bop called Deep Six, which seems to be about mental health and healing, identifying problems such as "falling more and more behind". This song start with a killer drum fill and they continue to go hard as the song continues. Exhibiting strong snare parts, smooth bass and guitars, the vocals lay perfectly over the rest of the track and it throws out major Knuckle Puck vibes.
Taking the number two spot on the EP, "Grudge" sounds a bit more grunge. Its lyrics speak of consciousness and realizations about a past relationship. Once again, featuring stable drums, the vocals flow over guitars that dominate the song around the second minute a long with clapping. This song definitely solidifies a protagonists moving on and being the bigger person as they sing "burning every bridge. never crossing it, guess I've heard a grudge but I know you've earned it".
All In Vain:
Thirdly, comes "All In Vain" that seems to focus a little more on the guitar parts and features a mini solo around 1:20. This song showcases soothing vocal melodies and harmonies and very much reminds me of Neck Deeps "Life's Not Out to Get You" album. This song talks about self love and struggle in a raw, honest way.
Last up on the album is "Distance". This song has many many layers as listeners can hear cymbals, snare, bass, vocals - lead and backing, strung beautifully together, guitars, bass, and everything in between. The song encourages listeners to listen to their inner selves and get in touch with the person in side as it sings - "take a chance, take a risk, take a hit". This higher energy fades out with a prolonged guitar note as the EP comes to a peaceful, adventurous close.
All in all, I thought this "For the Sake of Clarity" was fantastic. Hard hitting, purely pop punk. It had me finger-pointing for sure. I loved the high energy and the exploration of ones own thoughts and feelings. The messages and themes were very well executed. If I were to give on critique, I would suggest that the guitars got a little more presence and that the the overall volume of the mix was increased for a little more musical loudness. But other than that, this is EP was phenomenal and I give For the Sake of Clarity a huge gold star.