1997 – A Better View of the Rising Moon


Artist: 1997
Album: A Better View of the Rising Moon
Label: Victory Records
Purchase: Smartpunk
Release Date: April 17, 2007

Overall: 6.9
Music: 7.2
Lyrics: 6.5
Production: 7.0

Victory Records, a label that you would associate with bands of the paving the way through the emo rock genre, and the label producing the music for fans with hoodies and hair in their faces. Now you see 1997, Victory’s new band with a female vocalist and you are possibly thinking, “Wow a new sound!” Not quite though. Yes, this band does range from different sounds that are most definitely more breakthrough than the other Victory artists, but they’re still not quite that original and amazing. We already have bands like 1997 on the rise now with female singers. How about the famous FBR artist The Hush Sound and Paramore. Of course they are great bands, now add a hint of Taking Back Sunday and some little less than good produce songs and you have 1997. Before I go too much further, let me at least say that I am starting to get into this album. It has taken a few listens, and I get a different reaction everytime I play it.

First play I started with “Hey Darlin”, which by the name seemed like a catchy track. Well I liked the intro where they sang ‘Hey Darlin’, you paint a pretty picture’, but other than that i wasn’t impressed at all by the song. I only managed to feel the same way about most of the other songs on the album. Some songs even just seem like they almost don’t fit in with their whole genre. Like “The Water’s Edge”, which is a song with really heavy guitars for the choruses with the straining emo vocals, switching to out of place weak verses that just don’t quite sound like they belong. Then they have a song like “In Your Car” they has one of the most annoying choruses I’ve heard in a while, not to mention the words from the chorus were practically repeated the entire song just in different ways. Let’s move on to “Patience, Prudence”, yeah it’s alright. Either the male vocals in the prechorus have guest vocals from Adam from TBS or we know what they were trying to pull off. One of my favorite tracks on the album happens to be “Grace”, mostly because of the female singer is pretty much solo in the song. Not to mention I think the whole song is written better overall. “Grace” really gives her a chance to let her display the full extent of her singing capability. At this point I feel like I do not even need to mention the rest of the songs individually, but just let you know that it pretty much goes downhere from here.

The better songs are most definitely at the beginning of the album. All the songs really just sound like your average emo band trying to go into a more indie-folk-pop-rock band and falling a little short. The male and female vocals going over here other constantly just makes the songs just sound to jumbled up at times and is really what impresses most people about the band, and I do not find it all that amazing. Then there are the times where the vocals switch back and forth from lines in a very overly ripped off way of Taking Back Sunday. Honestly though the more I did play this album I began to sing along to it and get it stuck in my head. Yes the album is catchy, but more along the lines of those catchy songs you don’t want to sing along with but after you are kind of forced to sit and listen to it so you can review it, they kind of just get stuck in there. 1997 is a band that I just put along the lines of an alright band, with a style of music that I’m just not really going to keep on listening to. Although I would suggest that this band would not really get that huge, with the pull of Victory Records nowdays, it is quite possible. This is a definite Victory Records album, you like Victory try this out, especially if you like female singers. I really was a little over critical of the album. It isn’t horrible, but I for one do not think they are breakthrough. Even after writing this I’m sure I will listen to some of the songs again. I wouldn’t take all of my opinion for it though. At least give it a listen and make up your own decision about it.

Standout Tracks
“Garden Of Evil”, “Grace”, “Hey Darlin'”

1. Water’s Edge
2. Garden Of Evil
3. Hey Darlin’
4. In Your Car
5. Patience, Prudence
6. Grace
7. The Roads You Can Take
8. Lovelikepoetry
9. Tennessee Song
10. Enough Is Enough
11. Droppin Dimes
12. Curse Or Cure


  1. says

    “My advice for this band is to just stick with the female singer, who is very talented and use a little less back up. Better yet just have her leave the band and do a solo career, she might just get a little farther.”

    Aren’t you a little harsh, lol. The album has some good songs on it, thats along the lines for most albums these days, they are only half worth the full price.

  2. Liz Taylor says

    I cannot wait until 1997 is the breakthrough band, and Bruens looks like uneducated critic of music. This group is really something special. They have a lot of heart that not many bands have these days.

  3. Abbott says

    OK .. let me beg. by saying.. this critic is a pretty shitty critic.. and wrong on pretty much everything in my own opinion.. the only thing thats the same is it took me awhile to get into the songs but that happens to every cd I get. and the female voice does sound like haley from paramore and in “grace” she sounds like dido but i mean i like it.. her voice is amazing but going solo or having more of her sing is not wat would be best for the band the male voice is great to.. i dont see the TBS resemblance but o well they mixing of these two voices and back up voices are perfect the way they are.. and they mix a country sound with emo rock and add that bit of screaming that make it amazing. im not really into country but “hey darling” is great in mixing it. this critic is a very bad critic im guessing because he just must not like this music style or he would have given a better review over this. with teir mixing sounds good lyrics and vocals that mix perfectly. its great.. and for waters edge i think its good they went from a soft sound into guitar rifs and hard rock

  4. Jerry D. Coleman says

    The Chicago based band , “1997” released their debut album – “…A Better View Of The Rising Moon.”
    I loved it, so I called in a radio request! Now this was the first radio call-in request I had placed since the 60’s. Yes, over 45 years ago I called in a request to hear anything at all from the Beatles. The D.J. said, “The Beatles? I never heard of them son.” I replied, “You will, I guarantee it!” Well, a couple of months later that DJ was playing nothing but Beatles tunes and you know the rest of that story. However, this time when I called in the request – much to my delight the DJ said, “Oh yes, 1997, the band out of Chicago. Sure I’ll play one of their songs tonight!” So I guess the DJ’s of today are a bit more hip than those from yesterday.

    Anyway, 1997’s lyrics and sound touches you – like, “Turn the lights off. I don’t want to see myself doing this” as found in the song “Garden Of Evil” or from “Hey Darlin” , “Casting shadows on the pavement, dancing toe to toe” keeps one tapping his or her foot and enjoying the musical experience.

    Then they add a splash of Mandolin, Banjo, Harmonica and even Cello, which brings an extra unique sound that sets the band well apart and above the typical carbon-copy emo/indie/rock-type groups of today. 1997 has found their own path and forge ahead without wild-screaming or songs without substance.

    From “Waters Edge” to “Curse Or Cure” – the entire CD is a treat to hear and enjoy, over and over!

    Jerry D. Coleman (Author of “Strange Highways”)

  5. says

    This album is really, really impressive. I think you should give it a second look. One of the best releases this year.

  6. RK says

    Quit yer bitchin! It’s really this simple… This is a really good record. I like it.

  7. kaitlin says

    this band deserves more credit than what you’re giving them. you’re just a shitty critic.

  8. andrew says

    everybody commenting here is pretty smart.

    youre a shitty critic and your means of critiquing this cd is backed by nothing but a lack of any sort of musical reasoning and a pretty obvious distaste (for whatever reason) toward victory records. saying that you’ll probably listen to the cd a few times more and telling the reader not to take your opinion completely doesn’t counter the shitty review you just wrote above.

  9. Mikey says

    Its not completly true when you said that the first couple songs are the best on the c.d, listen to dropping dimes and enough is enough(azom bass line). I personelly say that 1997 is one of Victory’s best bands next to Bayside.
    I cant wate untill they make a new c.d and proove you wrong.

  10. says

    Although I do respect the views of the OP, but I think there is something that should be said about 1997.

    I am a musician and songwriter myself and I must say that this CD impressed me greatly. I heard “The Waters Edge” on the Victory compilation CD so I went and picked it up.

    One word I can use to sum it up is “deep.” If I wanted something poppy, I would listen to the radio.

    If you have ever written songs in which you completely pour yourself into, you know how exhausting and challenging it can be.
    You can feel it in their voices. You do not just hear it. It is a wonderful feeling. The production can be arguable, because they do incorporate a lot of instruments, but I enjoy it greatly.

    The vocals and tonality of the singers on the album are phenomenal. It is truly poetry. I cannot tell you enough how deep these lyrics really are until you read them. It is easy to relate when you decipher the metaphorical language in between the lines.

    From what I can tell about 1997, they do not seem concerned with appealing to everyone. Being a musician is about expression and sure, they are not together anymore, but I can tell you that this is one of the bands that will go down in history in my mind and heart for years to come.

    Poetry to my heart.

    Long live 1997.


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