“Ways To Hang On” is the second album of Michigan’s THE STICK AROUNDS although the members of the band have been playing together for 8 years and played in many bands before. This is American melodic rock influenced by powerpop. You can hear some REPLACEMENTS influences, or even early REM (“Better Off Like This”) and a bit of NEIL YOUNG (“Man Of Action.”) Fine melodies meet dirty guitars in “Majestic Figureheads”, the songwriting is solid, and the backing vocals always sound good, this is the kind of music you think you’d hear when turning on the radio, lost somewhere in the middle of the USA. The atmosphere of this album sometimes bring BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN and ELVIS COSTELLO to mind and THE STICK AROUNDS sometimes surprise us when adding some epic arrangements (“Hazlewood”.) They show their catchiest side in the last song on this album “Falling Down On You.” If there’s something like classic alternative, then “Ways To Hang On” should fit right in this genre. /Laurent C.