Noise By Numbers – Over Leavitt

Jump Start Records – Release Date: 8/02/11

With Over Leavitt, Noise By Numbers picks up right where its 2009 debut full-length Yeah, Whatever leaves off, but with a more mellow and introspective disposition. Over Leavitt starts off raw and builds up with “A Song for Emily,” before ripping into “Lost My Way,” which is an energetic, melodic sing-along about finding yourself off the tracks. “Yes, You” sounds like a throwback to the mid-‘80s punk/new wave sound, vaguely reminiscent of an electric, sped-up version of A Flock of Seagulls’ “Space Age Love Song.” “I Don’t Think So” echoes a feeling of disapproval and disgust, and singer/guitarist Dan Schafer repeats himself in such a way that his definitiveness is clear. Over Leavitt takes its time without shedding any of the band’s established qualities. It’s also a diverse album that sees the band perpetuate its geographically-oriented songs, which is a unique quality that I really enjoy about them. One of my favorite aspects of Schafer’s lyrics is how the listener picks up on him conveying something he knows. First you have to trust him and then he becomes your tour guide or teacher for a few minutes and you’re the student. If his story follows specific streets and train lines, it not only creates a scene and sparks imagination, but it humanizes him beyond being just ‘the artist’ and gives us a taste of something we may not already know. Over Leavitt is a matured and developed Noise By Numbers album that conveys the essence of this band wonderfully.

– Jason Duarte