Friday, March 12, 2010
Heart-Sick Groans - Gentlemen, If You Ain't Right, Get Right!
Artist Website: Heart-Sick Groans at Myspace
Netlabel Website: unsigned
1 - Three Day Blow
2 - Suddenly Molly
3 - In a Small Kitchen Song
4 - After Being Awake
5 - Streetlight Chase
6 - You Look Like Rain
7 - Why She Wanted to Stay at Home
Download links: [MP3, FLAC, and stream]
This week's album was brought to my attention from my good friend Dante over at All Around Sound. The name of the band is Heart-Sick Groans and their EP is entitled Gentlemen, If You Ain't Right, Get Right!
If I could sum up this album in only one word, it would probably be "charming." This is the kind of indie-pop you might expect to hear as the soundtrack of a feel-good teen movie like Juno, but the fact that it isn't attached to a movie or TV show shouldn't deter you from listening to it. The music is tight, and the melodies create a sort of musical river that I found easy to drift along with. That's one thing I really appreciate about music like this; whether you prefer to zone out while listening or pay close attention to the words and harmonies, you'll end up enjoying it either way.
The EP starts out on a happy guitar riff in Three Day Blow, which reminded me of lazy summer days. Suddenly Molly picks up the tempo slightly, and In a Small Kitchen Song raises the speed even more. However, at no point does the tempo of the music feel too frantic or out of control. The quality musicianship of the band members keeps the songs focused and flowing at the same time.
After Being Awake moves the music into a more ambient, shoegaze direction, using synthesizers and synthetic drum beats as opposed to the predominatly acoustic feel the album had up to that point. Streetlight Chase introduces a subdued horn section during portions of the song, while the vocals and guitars in You Look Like Rain brought to mind the works of George Harrison. The final song on the album is probably the most minimal in terms of instruments used and melodic variations, but in a way, it seems a fitting end to such a bright album.
This album was really tough for me to pick out a "favorite" track, because with most albums I'm immediately able to identify at least one or two tracks that I don't enjoy as much as the others. However, with this album, I enjoyed each track as much as the preceding one, and the songs flow so seamlessly into one another, that it almost seems wrong to place one on a higher level than the others. That, coupled with the fact that the EP barely breaks the fifteen minute mark means that you should listen through the whole album and decide for yourself. The album is available to download and stream from their Bandcamp page (which is linked to above).