ABOVE THE SKYLINE – Album Review: “Fall Right Into Place”

ATS Small album picAlternative rock band Above the Skyline has been making a major impact on the South Florida music scene over the past few years. Beginning with the release of their acclaimed 2015 EP A Different Breed, the Miami-based band followed up with a superb album Go For Broke in 2016 (which I reviewed). They’ve now dropped a terrific new album Fall Right Into Place, and they sound better than ever. Their songwriting and musicality have continued to mature, with more complex melodies, a fuller, more expansive sound, greater confidence in their vocals, and tighter production values.

Making up the band are Eric Green on guitar, Zach Wood on keyboards and vocals, Chloe Santiago on drums, Alec Enriquez on bass, and Sierra Karr on vocals. Having both a male and female lead vocalist is relatively rare among bands, and gives Above the Skyline’s sound a greater vibrancy. And it’s an added bonus when both singers have great voices. This is clearly evident on the lively opening track “Shadow,” where Zach and Sierra sound awesome both individually and together. Their vocals harmonize together so beautifully that they’re a real pleasure to hear. The guitar and drums are on-point, and the glittering keyboards are especially nice.

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Next up is “Fears,” a catchy, uptempo song that’s one of the album’s standouts. Once again, Zach and Sierra sound fantastic as they sing about being afraid of getting romantically involved: “What are you afraid of? What are you afraid of darling? Show me what you’re made of. Are you into strange love? If what you fear is what you want, lend me your ear. Do you love me not?” The instrumentals are superb, and I love Alec’s bass riff opener that continues throughout the track. The entertaining video shows a vintage TV screen with footage from horror films interspersed with scenes of the band members acting silly.

The wonderful kiss-off “Empêcher” starts off with a piano riff and military drumbeat, then explodes with Eric’s shredded guitar, Alec’s buzzing bass and Chloe’s crashing cymbals. Zach and Sierra snarl the biting lyrics “You’re a waste of time, no no no. You’re a waste of life, no no no. Tell me what can you do on your own. You’re impeached now, go home!” On the hard-hitting rocker “Do the Same,” the band’s skilled musicianship is on full display. All the instrumentals sound completely in sync, with strong piano keys holding their own with the aggressive layered guitars, bass and drums.

The band’s talent for writing romantic ballads is evidenced by “She Waits,” a beautiful piano-driven song about two lovers separated by time and distance, longing to be together again: “Let me tell you a little story that was made for two. Who knows it all, who is one to judge. All we know for sure is his sweetheart waits for him to get home.” The lush, sweeping orchestration in the bridge is gorgeous, and Zach and Sierra’s soaring heartfelt vocals bring chills. It’s one of my favorite tracks on the album.

At the album’s halfway point is “Kairi’s Melody,” a lovely minute-long instrumental interlude with a Coldplay vibe. The next few tracks showcase the band’s signature piano-driven, high-energy rock sound. “Crazy Place,” “Aegis” and “Breathe In” are fast-paced tunes with some amazing riffs, and Zach and Sierra sound great as always.

The band lets loose on the rousing “No Money,” another one of my favorite album cuts. The song is straight-up rock’n’roll with an exuberant foot-stomping beat pounded out by Chloe’s skilled drumming. The jazzy interlude in the bridge, courtesy of some really fine piano, sax and xylophone, is marvelous. Zach and Sierra fervently wail “We don’t care about your money. We just want your attention.” It’s an awesome track.

The album closes with the pop-rock track “Inside Your Brain.” The band employs all the instruments in their arsenal – keyboards, guitars, bass and drums – plus string synths to create a lush, dynamic soundscape. Zach and Sierra’s impassioned vocals plead for honesty from a loved one in a relationship that’s failing: “If I could pick your brain I’d resolve the things that are better left unsaid / Don’t tell me it’s not too late / Stop playing your game. What can I possibly do to get inside of your brain?

With Fall Right Into Place Above the Skyline delivers another solid, well-crafted album, giving us every indication they’re a band that takes their music seriously while still having fun. I’m happy to have had the opportunity to review both of their albums, and look forward to doing more as their musical journey continues.

Connect with Above the Skyline:  Website / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram
Stream their music:  Spotify / Soundcloud / Apple Music / Reverbnation
Purchase on:  iTunes / cdbaby

Album Review: Above The Skyline – “Go For Broke”

South Florida has a vibrant music scene, thanks to a diverse, multi-cultural population with a tremendous mix of influences. Several months ago I wrote a feature on the Miami-based indie rock band SunGhosts, and now I shine a spotlight on the young, incredibly talented five member collective Above The Skyline. They play an edgy style of alternative pop/rock with touches of R&B, funk and punk. Following up on their acclaimed 2015 EP A Different Breed, the young band (all are in their early 20’s) have released an ambitious new album Go For Broke.

Their bio states “the band prides itself on being different but yet producing a sound that everyone can love and listen to with ease.” That’s certainly the case, as Go For Broke is chock-full of melodic tunes that feature catchy hooks, complex, multi-layered guitar riffs, dynamic percussion and really fine vocals.  Making this great music are Chloe Santiago on drums, Eric Green on guitar, Zach Wood on keyboards and vocals, Alec Enriquez on bass, and Peach Martine on vocals.  Chloe and Eric, who’ve known each other since they were kids and have been playing together for more than 12 years, formed Above The Skyline in 2013. Within a year, Zach, Alec and Peach joined the band, completing the current lineup. 

Despite their youth, all have extensive musical backgrounds. Eric began studying music history and theory at the age of five, along with taking piano lessons, and at nine he began studying guitar. He met Chloe while taking lessons at Music Depot, and eventually was part of a couple of hardcore metal bands. Chloe started playing drums at seven, and played in marching bands in middle and high school. Zach is grateful his mother forced him to take piano lessons, which eventually led him to learn saxophone and percussion as well. He also played in middle and high school marching bands. Alec began studying guitar in high school, and eventually fell in love with the bass. Peach, who not only sings, but is also a songwriter and actress, has been writing and recording since penning her first song on the piano at age six. She plays piano, guitar, some violin and harmonica.


The album opens strong with “Another Side of Me,” a power-ballad that introduces us to the band’s killer guitars and highly melodic music style. Buzzing guitars work in tandem with a driving drumbeat and Alec’s heavy bass, resulting in a crazy-good track. Zach fervently sings “All I want you to do is stop being you. You’ve got another side of me that I don’t want none of.”  The catchy, energetic “Counting Heartbeats” comes at us with a thumping drumbeat and shredded guitars, then we’re hit with Peach’s commanding vocals and, halfway through the song, assertive piano is introduced, adding complexity to the track.

“Do I Really Look Like I’m a Guy With a Plan Margot” is a standout track, and one of my favorites on the album. Its incredible arrangement – featuring thunderous guitar riffs, pummeling drums, intricate piano and soaring violin – give it a rock opera vibe. Zach’s powerful vocals match the intensity of the music. Plus, it’s a great song title!  The band channels the Red Hot Chili Peppers a bit on “Entitled,” with guitar chords similar to the awesome ones used in their classic “Dani California.” Peach’s vocals soar, aided by Zach’s backing harmonies, and the organ solo is terrific.

Peach’s considerable singing talents are on full display on the beautiful anthem “Feel the Light.” Her vocals soar (there’s that word again, but it so applies here) with the lush orchestration. It’s Zach’s turn to shine on the hard-driving “Fireball,” on which our ears are treated to more killer guitar work and Chloe’s powerful drums. The title track “Go For Broke” features harmonizing vocals by Zach and Peach, accompanied by a driving beat and gnashing guitars. Synth chords are introduced two-thirds of the way into the track, giving it a bit of a psychedelic feel. This is a great song.

“See Where We Go” is the first single, just released in advance of the album, and it’s definitely a radio-friendly track with a catchy hook, energetic upbeat melody and sizzling harmonic vocals by Zach and Peach. Watch the lyric video here:

The gorgeous ballad “Strength” is another standout track, and my absolute favorite. Musically, the song is very different from the others on the album, with only beautiful piano and violin, and Zach’s heartfelt vocals are captivating.  It’s the type of song that will have many people – me included – tearing up halfway through. The lyrics are so powerfully moving: “And I know it’s so hard when these walls are caving in. But I stare and wonder at this war you’re gonna win. Cause you give me the strength just to make it through the night when we’re with you. I’m in awe of all your wonderful acts of courage that you do. But this time we have is not all that’s left.

With an abrupt jolt, the album closes with the hard rock gem “Tonight.” Blazing machine gun riffs intertwined with Eric’s shimmery guitars, heavy bass and crashing cymbals make this one exhilarating badass tune, proving beyond any doubt that Above The Skyline is a band with formidable talents. With an exceptional EP and full album now under their belts, they have a promising future, and I’m certain we’ll be hearing much more to come from them.

To learn more about Above the Skyline, visit their website. Support them by liking them on Facebook and following on Twitter. Subscribe to their YouTube channel and stream their music on Soundcloud. Go For Broke is available for purchase on iTunes and other platforms offering music for purchase.