Artist: Mixtapes (Official, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, BandCamp, Big Cartel, Last.fm, No Sleep Records)
Ordinary Silence opens with one of 2013’s best songs in the incredibly catchy “Bad Parts” which also serves to set the stage for the rest of this tour de force. Hailing from Cincinnati, OH, Mixtapes has been writing and tour since getting together in 2010, which is kind of staggering considering how seasoned this record sounds (which is a good thing). This is a record of experience, not only lyrically but sonically. Mixtapes shed any preconceptions about their sound and bring in elements from not only the pop punk that they are known for, but ‘90s indie rock, ‘80s college rock, and that kind of hard-to-name vibe that bands like The Gaslight Anthem, The Hold Steady, and The Menzingers have so beautifully perfected. In other words, Ordinary Silence is a record that would be as perfectly at home next to Superchunk’s On the Mouth as it would Masked Intruder’s self-titled debut (or Let It Be or Turn 21 or Handwritten). What really makes this record work is the band’s ability to mix-up the fast and mid-tempo and the dueling male/female vocals of Ryan Rockwell and the incredible Maura Weaver. Ordinary Silence is the kind of record that I just love because it showcases a band that is spreading their wings while staying true to themselves and making some killer music in the process. This is great stuff!