On Friday, July 15, the band 18th & Addison, consisting of members Tom Kunzman and Kait DiBenedetto, who both sing and play guitar, released their first full length album “Makeshift Monster.” This release comes just a little over a year and a half after the release of their first official release, “Little Parasites,” being an Extended-Play (EP).
Kunzman and DiBenedetto have had other projects, such as Kunzman being in the band A Criminal Risk, and DiBenedetto as one of MTV’s first recording artists with her band Just Kait, but now the two have paired up as 18th & Addison. DiBenedetto is also currently the guitarist in the band What’s Eating Gilbert. So both had a bit of a feel for music before starting their current project, which officially began in November of 2013.
The band classifies itself as a mixture of rock, punk-pop, and alternative, which can be heard in their music, sounding very reminiscent of New Found Glory (NFG) and All Time Low’s 2005-2007 sound. The NFG comparison is a bit uncanny considering DiBenedetto’s other project, What’s Eating Gilbert, is the side project for Chad Gilbert, lead guitarist of New Found Glory. However, while 18th & Addison admits they are inspired by the band, it is “more in a sense of how they conduct themselves and carry their band with longevity,” and say it is not as much sound-wise inspired. So the comparison may just depend on the listener.
As for 18th & Addison’s latest release, “Makeshift Monster,” while it is very reminiscent of their first release with the raw singing and sound, the instruments have definitely been picked up to a more poppy-pace in comparison to “Little Parasites.” However, this slightly new sound has stayed authentic with the band by keeping the meaningful lyrics. This is evident in songs such as “Old Skin” and “All & Everything.” Some songs, such as “Hide & Seek” and “Little Secrets,” give an ode to their first release with that similar raw sound, while songs such as “Fix Me Again” show where the band may be expanding their sound in the future, by giving a more acoustic and slow-feel to this particular tune.
Surprisingly, while the band has amped up their sound, they actually had fewer people working on this album in comparison to their first EP. That definitely shows the hard work they put into it; other than having their music engineer Charlie Berezansky also help them out on drums, Kunzman and DiBenedetto handled the rest recording wise, Kunzman also tracking bass for the album. While it did involve more work, the band admits it went a lot smoother for recording as opposed to having a whole team, since it just made it a lot easier to focus without as many people there.
Overall, the album is a solid release for those interested in alternative/pop-punk music, especially if they feel nostalgic for the original sound of pop punk. This band is an example of how that sound is still present in today’s music, so “Makeshift Monster” along with their first EP, “Little Parasites,” are definitely worth checking out.