Here's a rather impressive factoid about New York's Against The Wall: the band, led by guitarist Daniel Jakubovic, was invited to be the sole opening act for Dream Theater in Tel Aviv in July 2011. That association should stir the interest of most any connoisseur of melodic and progressive music. Honestly, the music within AtW's second LP, Thing Are Not Like They Said is the spark.
Thing Are Not Like They Said is, largely, an engrossing and entertaining album. Jakubovic and AtW work from a foundation of melodic rock, and then elements of alternative and progressive rock. The tunes can be friendly and accessible, with a modern sound, as on The Enemy, Lost Inside, or Freeze. They can take a lighter side A Few Days Left and Temporary. Or even though provoking within A Dose of Reason. Imagination and depth are found in the longer pieces, Would You Be Happy, Get Up Wake Up, and Stuck In a Daze. The first seems well-developed prog and requires several listens to grasp; the latter two tunes have a rock song fighting to get out within.
Two final observations. First, the timbre of Jakubovic's voice had an uncanny familiarity to it. Sometimes I thought he was channeling Ozzy Osbourne in a lighter and more coherent moment. I suppose he'll find that comment hilarious. Second, there's some fine saxophone peppered throughout this disc by Jaroslav Jakubovic, Daniel's father. The elder Jakubovic is a widely recognized player and producer. His saxophone work on Would You Be Happy is killer; he also wrote the overture prior to this song.
Against the Wall's Thing Are Not Like They Said is a good listen, equally entertaining and intriguing. Though I think some may say it's a tad too long to digest. Quite recommended.