Modern Society rocks catchy Beat

The Modern Society is a rock band that has been getting a lot of attention here in their native Atlanta. Formed by two friends, Woody Brown and Tyler Bence, the band recorded five demos before playing a small show in Atlanta, and a short time later they won several Atlanta Music Guide awards.

After they recorded their first album, Friends & Enemies, the group toured around the Southeast and Midwest. They signed with Original Signal Recordings (after winning Music Nation’s online rock competition) who then helped them produce The Beat Goes On.

Steeped in a special blend of grits, whiskey and cigarettes, The Modern Society is what rock and roll is all about. None of this emo-sounding stuff or fancy equipment; it’s all straight-up instrumentation and raspy, husky singing (more like shouting and wailing, but in a good way). The Modern Society stands out in today’s music scene with their retro (and authentic) sound.

They have found a very good, vacant niche to inhabit; they are not so hardcore that it would cause them to lose potential fans. They have instead found that magic middle spot in the Venn diagram of similarity and difference to that same tried and true sound that’s been pouring out of California for the past ten years or so. The Modern Society is poised to become the next big thing as everyone searches for something new.

The drums pound, bang and thump the beat into your skull, and you want more. The guitars are down and real to match the worn, “been there, done that” quality of Brown’s voice. However, his voice fails to be soft, and it only sounds thin and frail, never delicate.

Where he really succeeds is in the fist-pumping anthems that all the songs tend to become, which would be a bad thing if they did not pull it off as well as they do. That said, a little diversity would have been appreciated because at first listen all ten radio-ready jams blend together.

There are really only three instruments (guitar, bass and drums) on the whole album, but that is all The Modern Society needs to rock out. They combine their instruments and their voices in a distinctly Southern, devil-may-care style that dares you to stay sitting. The crashing drums and driving guitars command you to get up and party.

Perhaps the weakest aspect of the album is the lyrical content. They are mostly all about being young and restless. “I’ll carry you a thousand miles and never leave this room” does not really make much sense, but perhaps I am too literal-minded. The lyrics do rise above-and-beyond on occasion and become quite evocative.

The Modern Society is not for everyone, and you probably know who you are. You will probably like The Modern Society of you like classic rock, 30 Seconds to Mars (without the drama), Trapt (without as much intensity), Phantom Planet or new Panic at the Disco. The Beat Goes On does not have a ballad or other slow song; they are all fast-paced party songs.

By the time the frat house-ready album has finished, a couple of songs stick out among the rest.

“Tokyo” is quite catchy with a longing chorus and a breakdown in Japanese. Brown calls out for the girl of his dreams, even if she is as far away as Tokyo, to come to him. It is strangely lonely yet hopeful.

“Mona Lisa” closes out the album in frustration and a cry for battle. Brown croons to his personal Mona Lisa (whom he apparently lost) to whom he wants to prove himself somehow. It repeats and crescendos to quite an anticlimax, reflecting how little he actually has to show.

“If I could see you again, I would, um…If you could see me now, then you would see. Yeah, so there.” Sounds like pure infatuation to me.

Overall, The Modern Society is a local band on steroids. They are louder, harder and better. They rock out and take no prisoners. For a full-on, straight-up rockin’ time, look no further.

The Modern Society sounds different than today’s pop, which is a welcome relief. The lyrics are decent, and the instrumentation expertly executed, albeit unvaried. The Modern Society has all the makings to rock radio back to its senses.