Music / Vertical Horizon
Vertical Horizon is an American Alternative Rock band, initially formed by Matthew Scannell and Keith Kane in 1991 while they were students at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., and later joined at various periods by several members in different roles. The band is best known for its singles "You're A God," "Everything You Want," and "Best I Ever Had," all on its 1999 Everything You Want album.

The current line-up:
  • Matthew Scannell (lead vocals, lead guitar) - 1991-present
  • Ron La Vella (drums) - 2009-present
  • Cedric LeMoyne (bass guitar, backing vocals) - 2011-present
  • Steve Fekete (guitar, backing vocals) - 2010-present

Past members:
  • Keith Kane (vocals, backing vocals, guitars) 1991-2010
  • Ed Toth (drums, percussion) 1996 - 2005
  • Sean Hurley (bass guitar, vocals) 1998 - 2009
  • Jason Sutter (drums; currently in studio and touring ) 2009 - 2010
  • Corey McCormick (bass guitar; currently touring ) 2009 - 2010
  • Eric Holden (bass guitar, backing vocals) - 2009-2011

  • There and Back Again (1992)
  • Running On Ice (1995)
  • Everything You Want (1999)
  • Go (2003)
  • Burning the Days (2009)
  • Echoes from the Underground (2013)

The Other Wiki has a fully detailed page. Also, the band has its own webpage, which can be found here.

Vertical Horizon's music provides examples of:

  • Album Title Drop: Running On Ice takes its name from a line in the song "Falling Down," Burning The Days from lines in the songs "I Believe In You" and "Carrying On," and Echoes from the Underground from the song "Evermore".
  • The Alcoholic: The first verse of "Wash Away" portrays an old man who "drinks 'till he can't see, all night, all night." The third verse showcases a family where the father is likewise an alcoholic.
  • Alliterative Name: Keith Kane.
  • Better as Friends: "Sunrays and Saturdays" has the narrator wishing his lover well as they end their relationship, while he says they'll still keep in touch.
  • Big Rock Ending: A number of their songs employ this. "We Are" and "Shackled," for example.
  • Bilingual Bonus: "Japan" on the Running On Ice album has Japanese speech in the last verse.
  • Break-Up Song: "Shackled," the last track on the Everything You Want album, was written while Keith Kane was going through a relationship breakup. "Sunrays and Saturdays," from the Running on Ice album, tells of a fairly amicable, though still painful, break-up of two people who find they're just not compatible with each other.
  • Control Freak: "All Is Said and Done" is stated to be a commentary on these kinds of people.
  • The Ditherer: "The Middle Ground" is a plea for the narrator's love interest to make a decision whether to take their relationship head-on or to break up.
  • The Dog Bites Back: In "Back To You," the narrator does this to someone who's been physically abusing him.
    All of your hatred that you hold so sacred, I am elated to give it back to you.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: The narrator of "Everything You Want" is revealed to be this in the final chorus.
  • Domestic Abuse: "All Is Said and Done" and "Back To You" have Matt taking the role of a man who has been or is being subjected to this by his partner. "Wash Away" implies this is the situation with the husband and wife in the third verse, what with the husband being an alcoholic.
  • Double-Meaning Title: The song "Even Now" uses the title phrase both as a description of time ("even now, after all these years...") and as a description of the current state of the relationship between the protagonist and his ex ("I guess we're even now").
  • Dual-Meaning Chorus: "Inside" on the Go album:
  • Fading into the Next Song: A number of their songs do this. "Everything You Want" and "Finding Me" are two examples from Everything You Want.
  • Growing Up Sucks: "Lines Upon Your Face" tells the tale of a group of boys who grow up from childhood to meet the difficult realities of adulthood.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: In "Sunrays and Saturdays," the narrator and his lover break up because he wants this for her.
  • Irony: The idea behind "You're a God," which is stated to be based on the level of power others have over a person or vice-versa.
    Matt Scannell: Really, the title is ironic: you're a god and I am not—well, that's actually not true anymore, because now you're not a god.
  • The Lost Lenore: Implied in "On The Sea."
  • Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Their songs run anywhere between Levels 1 to 3.
  • Never Say Goodbye: The message behind "Forever."
    Matt Scannell: You just need to mourn it, you need to shoulder it for a while and kind of move through it until you can get back up straight again and move on, or at least not let it go. That's what this song is about, it's about not letting go, but not letting it stop you.
  • New Sound Album: There And Back Again and Running On Ice consist largely of songs recorded to a soft guitar rhythm with almost no percussion accompaniment. Then you listen to "We Are," the first song on the Everything You Want album, which has plenty of percussion and louder guitar sounds. From there on out it's a mix of the old and new.
  • Not Christian Rock: Explained in greater detail here.
  • Perpetual Frowner: Matt Scannell has been identified as this. Lampshaded during this interview.
    Matt Scannell: (to the interviewer) You're not the first person who's asked me that. I think my mom was the first. She says, "Why are you always so grumpy?" I don't know.
  • Poor Communication Kills: According to Matt Scannell in a 1997 MTV interview (for which part of the transcript is seen here), this is part of the underlying message behind "We Are."
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: "All Is Said and Done" is basically the narrator telling off an abusive lover.
    I'm not going to bend now, you're not going to break me, you'll never be hard enough to scratch my face.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Sung about in "Everything You Want."
  • Split Screen: Utilized in the video for "Forever," to showcase different angles of the band's playing or to showcase scenes where Matt is walking along a city street or hillside with different aspects of the scenery being shown, or to juxtapose Matt's wandering with the band's playing at the same time.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: "Liberty" tells the tale of the narrator pining after his lover, who's in a relationship with another man.
  • Sweetie Graffiti: In the video for "Forever," at one point while walking through the woods, Matt stands next to a tree that has quite a few names carved into its trunk.
  • Teen Pregnancy: The second verse of "Wash Away" tells the tale of a young woman (explicitly described in the lyrics as "a young girl") with a six-month-old baby, who's on welfare and lamenting her missed opportunities.
  • Title Track: "Everything You Want", of course. Also "There and Back Again."
  • True Companions: Sung about in "The Mountain Song."
    What you've done for me is more that I could hope for; oh you are my friend. And I'll be there for you through happiness and sad times; oh our love will pull us through.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Hinted at in "The Man Who Would Be Santa." Matt Scannell indicated that he wrote the song after an argument with his father.
  • Wham Line: In "Everything You Want", the POV character switching "he is everything you want" to "I am everything you want".
  • Word Salad Title: One version of the story behind the band's name goes that while Keith Kane was writing down a list of possible names, he wrote the word "vertical" then drew a horizontal line along the bottom of the word. The rest, as they say, is history.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: "I Believe In You."
  • You Are Not Alone: "A Song For Someone" is basically written for anyone out there who may be going through their own challenges, with the very first line going "This is a song for someone all alone."
    "This is a song for someone I don't know; may your days get brighter as you go."