Potential, Potential, Potential

[rating:6.5/10]

Brad and Brad are The Glass Gentlemen. Their new, self-released EP is entitled Listen Carefully and is available for download now. Featuring a few songs that you may have heard on previous monthly mixtapes (“Night Sleep Maybe” and “Ocean Stars”), the 8 song EP plays as equals parts The Anniversary, The Get Up Kids, Arcade Fire, and Brand New. With a seemingly steady diet of 90’s emo/indie rock and alternative Internet radio, the Brads exceed at one thing in particular… demonstrating promising musicianship and a knack for songwriting. While, I think it would be a fair assessment to say that these guys aren’t quite there yet, it seems fairly certain that they are well on their way to becoming a commercially viable alternative rock band that could easily be spoken in the same breath as bands like Taking Back Sunday.

As noted, what stands out most here is the band’s potential. Listening to what the band could do with little to no production value, it’s exciting to think of what they could sound like with a bit more of a budget. Their sound borrows a little bit from some scene influences, but is something it’s own. They demonstrate their rock chops on “Loudest Western Front” while showing a softer side on “Ocean Stars”. Each track has a feel it’s own, but there is continuity in their sound throughout.

The music is mature, both in content and songwriting. The music is well written, with some varied song structures and elements that make the sound completely non-generic. The lyrical content is not juvenile or overly angstful, as the genre tends to fall prey to. It’s obvious that despite being an unsigned, independent band, The Glass Gentlemen are not a couple of high school kids that just started playing.

That said, there are a few things that the duo will need to work on to fulfill their aforementioned potential. Vocally, there are definitely moments where notes are flat and/or forced. Perhaps this is more an issue of production quality and perhaps it could be addressed by reassessing the vocal range of the singers when writing the vocal parts. They strained vocals, ala Chris Carraba, employed in many of the musical peaks of the songs on this EP are solid, what sometimes falls short are the harmonies and soft, higher pitched vocals both in the forefront and background. There is an overall good sound to the vocally, but it can be better.

The band seems to have found their sound. It needs to continue to be refined, but it’s there. Couple this with a little more production value and some vocal tweaks and I find it quite likely that The Glass Gentlemen is a band that could catch the attention of the labels. For this band, it’s all about taking this solid effort and building on it. Tap into the obvious potential that’s there. These two guys named Brad should have a bright musical future and this EP is a solid starting point.

~ by thepaintedman on February 18, 2010.

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