The Chicago based band was first a side project with members Evan Weiss, Erik Czaja and Marcus Nuccio, who were big in the emo music scene, coming from bands like Into It, Over it and Downsing. However, after the release of an EP which was really just three guys making fun music, it turned into something bigger as fans of their music grew, and in 2015, they released a full-length album and the band became a permanent fixture.
Released via Polyvinyl Records, Vision is a simple fun pop album, with nice riffs and harmonies, that has an Bayside, Motion City soundtrack feel to it and makes you feel relaxing and puts a smile on your face.
The album starts with the song “Everyone, If Anyone“, with a weird feedback signal that leads to just Erik Czaja singing to a nice guitar chords strumming, then the whole band comes in on the verse with nice background harmonies to improve on Erik vocals.
The chorus change to a nice picky guitar melody with the chorus line “My best is when I’m at my worst / Reduced to fake the smile that works” really adding to the meaning of the song. The strength of this song is Erik Czaja’s vocals and harmonies that can be heard throughout the album, this can be best shown in the bridge.
On “Stare Collection“, the guitar and drum arrangements have a more driving role, with Erik Czaja vocals going higher and mixing it up, while some really nice drumming by Marcus Nuccio in the verses really gives the energy that the song needs. This leads to the chorus which has a cool little synth in the background that really adds to the chorus. The distortion feel in the bridge also helps build to the last chorus.
“Hall Monitor” is similar to the opening track in sound, but with a cool bassline that goes through the verse and the song. With the cool chorus and good vocal harmonies in the bridge, it’s just a enjoy song to listen to and is a stand out on the album.
“You & Me & Mt. Hood” slows it down and and just chill you right out. It starts with a really good bassline which is at the core to the song, and is similar to “A Detailed And Poetic Physical Threat”, taken from their first EP.
“50%” goes back to the sound and tempo of the previous songs on the album, and has a catchy call and response vocal in the bridge that’s really nice to hear, while “LTCTLYB” is an interesting chord-strumming rock track with a straightforward set up and a cool chorus line, “we don’t desire what you deserve“, which leads to their trademark harmonies in the bridge.
The tempo changes once again on “Blue Bottle“, with a nice build up to its big chorus, where everything comes together and really pays off for the listener. On “St. John” and “Eyesores“, the band goes full on grunge rock, with similar tones to the bridge on “Stare Collection” and just delivers on some chord strumming fun.
The album comes to a close with “Mostly Water“, a beautiful acoustic track, which shows off Erik’s vocals that have been amazing throughout, and “Lint Roller“, which is a soft rock track with amazing vocal harmonies, and guest vocals from Kate Grube, which are best highlighted in the outro with great overlapping vocals to end a fun album.
Overall, this is a fun pop rock album. It may not blow you away with its sound, but with Erik’s great vocal harmonies and the cool basslines underneath the strumming guitars, it makes for an enjoyable listen. It’s worth checking out if you want to just sit back and listen to some good music. Purchase Pet Symmetry’s Vision on iTunes here.
Words by Stuart Irvine