Aranda: Not The Same review

Not The Same (Wind-up Records) is the third full-length from the Oklahoma City trio since its inception in 2001. Brothers Dameon and Gabe Aranda make up the core of Aranda, while Mike Walker mans the drum kit. Not The Same starts out with the track \”We Are The Enemy,\” which is a mid tempo song that  features some strong guitar work from Dameon Aranda that blends radio rock along with a pinch of southern tinged tones. Flowing right into title track, \”Not The Same\”, lyrically sends a strong message of change. Unfortunately, there are a few directional changes within the guitar structure that carried me to a strange place.\”Don’t Wake Me and Dead Man Runnin\’” are two strong rock songs that put the train back on the tracks and draw me back into Not The Same. What I find disappointing is that it feels as if Aranda have slipped in a pop song like \”Knock Out The Lights” onto the record. Don’t get me wrong, I\’m all for musical diversity but it gives me, as listener, the feeling that directionally Aranda has just bitten the hand that feeds them.  The back half of Not the Same finishes robust and determined to reel me back in with good song writing and direction. On track ten, Aranda have once again shifted gears with the song \”Are You Listening”. Conversely, the acoustic track is an absolutely beautiful song that shines a light on how talented these OKC boys really are. Bottom Line – Obviously, there are a few hiccups on Not The Same but at the core of Aranda, I truly think that they want to play rock music. If that is the case, you know where your bread is buttered. -Cooper-