This isn’t a wholehearted endorsement of Earlyrise’s new single, Safe In Here. First off, I’m still not totally on board with the production on the new album. The reverb’s overdone, the mix feels vocal heavy, and I still feel like someone’s trying to trick me into listening to Evanescence whenever I hear how much the vocals have been processed. Fortunately, Earlyrise have the advantage of actually being good to make up for these shortcomings. I’ve always dug their balance of clean and heavy instrumentation, and they’re still willing to experiment: check out the blast of traditional music at 1:13. The dynamics of the song cover the full range, from ethereal moments of vocal harmony to drop-tuned riffage coupled with fiery vocal blasts. The solo feels a little tacked on, but there’s enough to love in the rest of the song to compensate, the huge chorus, quiet post-solo bridge and even just the phrase “morally impaired” proving the band has plenty left in the tank creatively. I am still a bit nervous, as with this release, they slide a little deeper into guilty pleasure territory for me, but for now, the juice is worth the squeeze. Plus pairing the song with Takuya Okada’s short animation “Children” is a perfect combination. Mad props to whoever came up with that one. And madder props to whoever managed to stop Sackboy and Vega from Street Fighter taking a class action lawsuit against the makers. The new album will be up on iTunes soon.