Release date: 2005
Social Code is a band from St. Albert, Alberta, and they’re one of the reasons I continue to look into and constantly praise our local music. They’ve taken a bit of punk inspiration, an ability to write enjoyable rock ballads, and turned this into a record that is at times closely related to Billy Talent or Nickelback for the intensity of many tracks, yet simultaneously reminiscent of pop bands like Good Charlotte during other songs.
Originally called Fifth Element, this four-piece band renamed itself for the appearance of new drummer Ben Shillabeer and the release of its major-label debut record, A Year at the Movies.
This album, and certainly this band, can be a little confusing because of its range of influences; where the songs ?Miss You? or ?Beautiful? might lead you to believe they are a lighter band, ?Cats and Dogs? or ?I Was Wrong? send you directly in the opposite direction, leaving no expectation completely fulfilled.
Perhaps the ambiguity of the music can best be showcased by the list of different bands Social Code has performed with: Bif Naked, Good Charlotte, Three Days Grace, and Fall Out Boy.
I don’t think the band is at fault for its unconformity, however. It isn’t as if the record skips from one focus to another and in doing so fails to gain momentum and subsequent fans; on the contrary, it is the ability of Social Code to pull off lighter songs with a slightly pop sound simultaneously with edgier songs that properly frame the sandpaper voice of front man Travis Nesbitt that has attracted an admirable audience throughout Canada.
The strength of this record comes directly from the talent of the musicians themselves and their ability to come together to create songs that really show off some great vocals, guitar, bass, and drums. The star tracks on the album are ?Whisper to a Scream? and ?I Was Wrong,? but thankfully they aren’t the only songs that pop out and look for attention. This is not the kind of record you buy for one song, and if you have done so, You’re missing out!
Getting to know A Year at the Movies in its entirety is likely to foster an affinity with the band that leads you not only to keep the disc in your CD changer but to go out and pick up their new release, Social Code.