Gabriel the Marine - Your Friends and Loved Ones EP
Record Label: Self-released
Release Date: June 2009
Gabriel the Marine is a five-piece from Lattingtown, a wealthy suburb on the North Shore of Long Island, who write post-emo orchestral rock that's rife with tenderness, passion and grit. Your Friends and Loved Ones is their second EP and was produced by Mike Watts (As Tall as Lions, Self Against City, As Cities Burn). To date the band has shared the stage with Mae and Anberlin among others. Their most noteworthy accomplishment was their appearance at the 2009 Bamboozle and being hailed by Spin Magazine as "One of 15 bands you must hear at the Bamboozle Festival." Long Island music veteran Christian McKnight, a Bamboozle promoter and Live Nation staffer has gone on record as admitting that Gabriel the Marine are certain to be Long Island's next indie-rock breakthrough, following in the footsteps of As Tall as Lions, Straylight Run and Nightmare of You.
How is it?
Phenomenal. Aided by the jazzy vocals and sharp wit of vocalist/frontman/co-founder Michael Desmond, Gabriel the Marine crafts heady songs that belie their years. With no band member save for one, older than 21, it's stunning to hear a band with such poise and clarity, especially one that delivers in such a big way. Anchored by the sweetly hypnotizing electric violin of classically trained multi-instrumentalist Dylan Ibrahimian, this is music with depth and soul that is hard to fake. The songs on Your Friends and Loved Ones are jolted, jittery opuses in the vein of As Tall as Lions and Nightmare of You. Standout track "Heaven Only Knows," has a sunny amiability and a chorus that seems ready for radio airwaves, while the pensive "The Puppet," has cheeky verses and an urgent movement that's inspired and passionate. The EP is bookended by the rousing opener "On and On," and the placid ballad "The Ocean," both of which feature transcendent playing from violinist Ibrahaim. Armed with both swagger and ambition, the quintet comes through with confidence, conviction and maturity on every song. With a release like this under their belt, Gabriel the Marine is most assuredly a band to watch out for in the years to come.