Virginia is home to the beginning of the pop-punk project, In Frame, led by Josh Hylton, who honed his craft by mastering numerous instruments. Josh started his career as the front man of a 4-piece band entitled Under the Radar. This was followed by This Time Tomorrow – reunited while he attended Bridgewater College. They put out an EP and then disbanded for disparate reasons. At this point Josh started a one-man band named Sophomore Year and released an EP entitled ‘Another Chance To Make Things Right’. As this didn’t take off, Josh re-established himself in his new hometown of Tuscaloosa, Alabama by releasing his debut EP ‘Calm in Calamity’ under the moniker of In Frame.
Liberated of many expectations – like hit singles and massive record sales, musicians can now make music that doesn’t follow sad formulas for success. In Frame isn’t too experimental, but it’s a much-needed departure from the banality of modern pop an alternative rock.
Josh Hylton has grabbed the finer elements of his peers – pop sensibility, innovative percussion, and adds melody, harmony and a willingness to let the music run the show. Josh allow the songs to go where they need to go, following the drummer’s imaginative beats rather than the rhythm of the radio.
Neither genre-obsessed nor intent on defying convention, In Frame is the perfect union between pop-punk riffs and instrumentation that spans all rock genres from indie to alternative. Finally, we have a pop-punk band that is attempting to take advantage of the potential of its instruments.
Songs like “Scooby-Doo, Where Are You” and the title track, “Calm In Calamity” deliberately switch back and forth between rambling basslines, steady driving guitars, and complex percussive breaks. The arrangements are sewn together by the persuasive drum kit, played deftly enough to command the music.
Instead, Josh’s monster guitar riffs sneak in, adding intrigue and bite, to already scorching sections, a trick he displays on every track. Lyrically, Josh Hylton writes about his favorite subjects, including relationships, but he offers an uncharacteristic knowingness to the angst in his songs. He minces no words and offers up witty metaphors.
It’s evident that Josh decided to focus more on the musical side here. Much of past, pop-punk music, was mostly powered by fun lyrics, not what the bands could do with their instruments, and in that sense, In Frame is very different.
The “Calm In Calamity” EP, is built around bone-crushing guitar riffs and powerful drums. The music is very energetic, as are Josh’s vocals. In fact, these tracks show off his vocal skills perfectly. Moreover Josh shows that he can make some great music without the help of anybody. This is an incredibly kinetic recording.
In Frame is a damn interesting project, and it’s a pretty fantastic crossover pop and punk-rock project. It seems to re-affirm Josh Hylton’s musical roots while proving that he is capable of more than the by-the-numbers approach of some of his peers.
Sometimes you want to rock out to a less-mature punk album and other times you want something with a little more substance – In Frame combines both, with a great hard-charging melodic sound that still feels angsty, but only a lot more sincere.