Switchfoot “Hello Hurricane”

Written by on May 13, 2010 in May 13, 2010, Music Reviews - Comments Off on Switchfoot “Hello Hurricane”

on Atlantic Records

Switchfoot the most unsung heroes of multi-platinum status releases their most spectacular studio release in three years, “Hello Hurricane,” on Atlantic Records. San Diego’s favorite sons deliver an edgy, sonic CD produced by themselves with the help of ub?r-producer Mike Elizondo known for his work with the likes of Dr.Dre, Eminem, Pink, Maroon 5 and Fiona Apple.

This disc is exactly what their grass-roots fan base are clamoring for – fresh new music. After ten non-stop years of working as the world’s most humble multi-million-selling rock band, the hard charging North County San Diego-based quintet Switchfoot saw recording sessions for their aptly-titled seventh full-length album “Hello Hurricane, a unique chance to re-asses, reflect and rededicate. This CD proves that this band truly believes love does conqueror all.

Switchfoot cleverly combines a spiritual bent with a critique and eye-on some of modern society’s hypocrisies on many of their personal and rousing songs on this new disc.  “Hello Hurricane,” has some of the most aggressive tones the band has ever had. “It was exciting to work with someone from Mike’s (Elizondo) background and to take some different approaches to rock music,” adds Chad Butler (drums). “He definitely helped us push the music in some new directions.”

With “Hello Hurricane,” set to thrive in 2010 with a new found independence: their new home studio HQ, a new record label (Atlantic Records), and a return- to-roots creativity and sense of purpose.

“We built our own (recording) studio so we wouldn’t be paying and playing by the hour,” says Jon Foreman of their self-styled Studio at the Foot home. Beginning in 2007, the band tracked more than 80 songs and allowed themselves to get lost in the music again and get back to basics. “That’s why we see this album as a new beginning of sorts,” continues Forman citing the inspiration that moved fellow bandmates.

Switchfoot is comprised on brothers Jon Foreman, (vocals and guitar) and Tim Foreman, (bass and background vocals), Chad Butler (drums), Jerome Fontamillas (keys, and guitar), and Drew Shirley, (guitars).

The album’s driving and urgent, “Mess of Me,” with its personal declaration of independence as Foreman passionately announces to the world, “I wanna spend the rest of my life alive!” powerfully demonstrates the edge behind the new tones. Not content to settle into a single groove, the bands moves from highflying album opener, “Needle in a Haystack,” which has a driving guitar riff not unlike their heroes U2 who influenced them early on in their career to songs like the inspirational and stirring, “Always,” also featured on NOW That’s What I Call Faith CD and the sweetly soaring, “Your Love is a Song,” which- by its very nature – cries out for many hands waving illuminated by a blue cell phone glow.

The anthemic, riff fueled, “This is the Sound,” with its utterly timely generationally themes, finds Foreman spitting, “This is the sound from the discontented mouths of a haunted nation!” The “Hello Hurricane,” title track is even more poignant when it comes to the band’s perspective on themselves and the world around them. “There is real despair that I see when we travel around the country… and its music that people turn to in a time like this. I wanted to reach out to those people with song.”

By their very nature they (Switchfoot) are activists/humanitarians specifically asking for donations on their website on their behalf for Haiti relief. “For the last decade or so, we’ve been a rock band that really thrives off that interaction with the crowd,” states Butler. “Our motivation for playing music in the first place was a desire to connect with people in a deeper way.” Out of this connection the band’s renowned live show has developed and incredibly loyal following both here in the states and abroad.

Summer ’09 also found the band proudly hosting the fifth annual Switchfoot Bro-Am, to benefit local chapters of StandUp for Kids, a national volunteer outreach nonprofit founded in San Diego. Dedicated to making a difference in the lives of at risk and homeless kids, the Bro-Am is highlighted by a surf contest, charity auction, and festival concert featuring sets by Switchfoot and a host of other area artists. “The Bro-Am really sums up our connection with San Diego, the surfing and music communities coming together to make a difference,” adds Butler.

As for “Hello Hurricane,” the members of Switchfoot could not be more motivated to bring the new music to their grass roots grown fan base. “I think it is a landmark record for us,” says Butler. “It’s a new chapter in so many aspects of our lives, personally and professionally. I think we’re in the best possible place we’ve been in as a band.”