The Vinyls - The Vinyls
Record Label: Unsigned
Release Date: November 16, 2010
They say first impressions are the ones that last. When I heard the name The Vinyls, I wasn't too keen on it because I figured it's a band that's trying to replicate an overdone hipster sound. Boy, was I wrong after I started listening. The Vinyls are a 5 piece pop-rock band from central NJ that recently released their debut self-titled EP. They feature members of popular current and former NJ bands Throwing Color, Racing Kites, Bears & Bright Lights, & The Call Out. The five track release is an energetic and hook-laden collection that sounds like a band that listened to Jimmy Eat World's "Bleed American" too much and wanted to make a sound that has a pop element but actually doesn't suck like many of today's pop "bands." In fact, this is what many bands wanted to go for, failed to do, and then played it safe on future releases.
The first thing to notice is the production on the EP. It's not your typical pop-rock record at all. It's got a very warm sound to it. It's not compressed beyond belief with digital manipulation like we're used to hearing with every flavor of the week band that bombards us. It's a very raw and gritty sound to it that sounds natural and has the right amount of reverb to give it a familiar quality without sounding like it was recorded in a basement. I think this is a key idea that gives it a distinctive quality that makes it memorable.
The opening track, "American Dream," begins with an upbeat tempo mixed with beautiful guitar tones that have a lo-fi sensibility and presence about them that brings back a nostalgic vibe of Jimmy Eat World's "Sweetness." Vocalist Drew Duddy belts out "Every mark we make/Is a sign of change/I'm not alone in this American dream" in part of a very powerful chorus that instantly gets stuck in your head and leaves the listener craving for more. It's an anthem of the down-trodden searching for hope in a time of despair.
I have an appreciation for bands that can write slow songs without being boring. Truth be told, some of my favorite songs are slow jams but more often than not bands tend to write some lullabies. In the song "Out Loud," the band crafts a magnificent song that defies the idea of the "slow song." It actually felt to me like there was sort of a Coldplay vibe in some parts. There's an anthemic feel to it and it contains elements of keys, violins, added guitar layers, and an aura that feels like it can be played in Madison Square Garden.
The Vinyls are one of those bands that will be under your radar for a bit, but when you do take the time to listen you'll feel like you've been let in on one of the best kept secrets in the pop-rock genres. Expect big things in 2011 from this band.
People need to stop saying "If you like The Dangerous Summer, you'll like The Vinyls." Christian's RIYL was for more accurate.
With that said, that was a very well written review. Great job, Christian!