There’s a trend leaning toward bands condensing in size. Why not strip down and build something more personal and still booming with entertainment? The move to fewer individuals producing high-energy levels of sound isn’t difficult to fathom. In fact, it passes a nice notion to fans of music who want to draw in and feel the band’s camaraderie. The Black Keys, The White Stripes, and recently reviewed Deep Vally thrive in the brainstorming of duo musicianship.
Denver, Colorado natives In The Whale crash land on a scene that is seeing their alternative rock predecessors making their exits. The band’s new EP Quicksand poses some energetic thrusts of emotion, jetting us back to an age of when Rise Against and Bayside were young.
I liken the 5-song EP to a youthful ploy for a diet routine and muscular definition. For the people wanting to gain back their musical years, the duo attacking the guitar and drums is just what the doctor ordered. No, nothing is incredibly original about these sounds. Even the vocal surges of Nate Valdez and Eric Riley show signs of familiarity. However, if the scene calls for more eventful craftsmanship with updated production, this band pushes the right buttons.
The band knows how to fill in space, especially considering they are only 2 people. “LA” is a total ace. Purely built upon the muscle of power chords, the 2-minute intro dabs into punk references of chants and tints of rebellion. The song blends with the rest of the EP in its defiant, loud and fast paced ruckus.
My favorite song of the album is “Galaxie”. I don’t really know about the misspell, if it was intended, or if they were referring to the Ford Galaxie automobile or the early ’90s band Galaxie 500. At any rate, the song kicks ass and flies high with the celestial beings, gracing us with the ferocious bite of melodic guitar. “Medicate” chomps on minor tones that clang with the band’s likeness of self-help. This theme was also promoted heavily in the 2000s.
The song “American Eyes” passes good ideals, but causes some issues for being sappy. The message is relevant and relatable for a large portion of Americans, but lyrically I think the band could have been a lot more ingenious. The song flows from what Valdez and Riley touch on, not advocating the themes in America. “Every soldier living on the street can tell you what it means to need”- not a bad line if only it were used for a poem or a protest speech.
In this day and age, rock music passes along to the audience via the artist’s command of genre, musical IQ and quality of writing. Though Quicksand has limited features, In The Whale handles the compilation with professionalism and gritty fun. For fans of alternative punk, definitely check this band out.
Alternative Rock | Independent