By Anna-Marie Bolet, Rock At Night Jacksonville
Review: Off Road Minivan’s album Swan Dive-Release date May 15, 2020-Available via Tooth & Nail Records
Off Road Minivan’s highly anticipated full length album, Swan Dive dropped today and for fans of Indie Rock, this collection of songs will hit a strong emotional chord. As expected, Ryan O’Leary’s vocals expand and retract with such smooth melodic range in their opening “It’s Harder to Make it Below Third”. It’s the perfect choice to start this album full of anthems dealing with some touchy subject matter that is all too often difficult to talk about it.
Like Emo Bands before them the likes of Thirty Seconds to Mars and Deftones, “Supernova” hits minor chords with the rhythm and sound of an epic story. In “Tacomic”, we are eerily reminded of a dangerous stretch of highway known for its majestic natural beauty juxtaposed by deadly crashes that number in the thousands.
The harmonizing lyrics in “YOU” and the haunting “Swan Dive” blends powerful instrumentals and strong riffs with O’Leary’s passionate and wide vocal range. Every song in between is a journey into the soul, ending with the hauntingly beautiful and simple “737” – this album comes in like a lion and out like a lamb.
Music will always be an expression of the soul and if that soul is weeping, it should be put to lyrics. Swan Dive is a graceful plunge into the emotions that come from lost love, tragedy and even an exploration into death. With lyrics like ‘Don’t go breaking my heart unless you let me go ’and ‘I’m not crazy but I can’t get June out of my head’, Off Road Minivan gives us permission to explore those nuanced emotions while reminding us that these emotions are universal.