Saturday, December 10, 2016

Album Review: 'Another Life' by Joe McMahon

Title:  Another Life (SmartPunk Records, Gunner Records, Amazon, iTunes, SpotifyInterpunk)
Artist:  Joe McMahon (Facebook, Twitter, BandCamp, Spotify)

Joe McMahon's full-length solo debut is a powerful, intensely personal record.  Best known for his work in the Richmond, VA punk band Smoke or Fire, the Boston, MA native has been writing and performing music since his late teens.  McMahon now calls Münster, Germany home, has toured as a solo artists consistently for the last three years, and recorded a compelling debut in Another Life.  The record is obviously centered around McMahon's vocals and acoustic guitar but this isn't your typical punk-singer-goes-acoustic folk record.  There are elements of power pop, hints of indie rock, moments of folk, but really this is a singer-songwriter rock 'n' roll record.  What makes Another Life a standout debut is the emotional power and intensity behind each and every song.  The entire record feels like a lifetime of emotional highs and lows, heartbreak and hope, joy and pain.  There is desperation, defeat, compassion, and optimism all crying out in these songs.  McMahon's impassioned delivery perfectly punctuates each moment driving you from one song to the next.  If this record doesn't touch your heart, I have to question whether or not you have a soul.  Another Life is a must for fans of Dave Hause, Mike Felumlee, Northcote, Frank Turner, and Mike Park.    

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