Recommend if you like: The Weeks, “Supersoaker” by Kings of Leon, amicable mosh pits
Expectation: While I can’t say I had ever heard of The Exquisites before, a bit of quick research tells me that they are a band from Seattle and this is their second album, following their 2013 LP which was literally called ‘Self Titled’. The group is signed to Asian Man Records and has received attention from multiple online publications.
- Faith – This band wastes no time. The album opens with an ensemble hit and immediately launches into an intense, punchy jam session almost entirely centered around a single vocal line. Luckily, the band knows how to work their dynamics and when to vary the instrumentation, so it works.
- Count On Me – Another very simple song, benefiting immensely from the band’s ability to play the same thing a whole lot of slightly different ways. Also, there are a few more words on this one than the opening track, which was nice.
- Climbing Down at the End of the Day – I almost feel like the rest of the band played a joke on the singer and made him think he was recording vocals for another, louder song. Its not as if he completely ignores the change of pace, but he certainly adheres to his typical style far more than the rest of the band.
Overall: I didn’t mention many songs on this project, as there really wasn’t much to say about any one track that didn’t apply to most of them. This is just an all around good rock album; the layered guitars sound great, the drums stay interesting without adding unnecessary complications, the bass doesn’t simply play the root of the chord the whole time, but is tasteful in its deviations. Perhaps most importantly, the singer’s soulful, simple melodies function as a key instrument without stealing the show, providing a focal point to the music without feeling so important that you wish the instrumentation was quieter. This album plays like a live setlist, with the exception of the somber closer, and everything about the band’s sound evokes an image of an impassioned performance in a small venue with a low ceiling. The band follows an obvious formula, but they follow it with every ounce of energy they can muster. You won’t hear anything you haven’t heard before on this album, but you will want to see them live.
Or maybe I’m just a sucker for rock bands with trumpets.