The Verdict - Tour EP 2007 Released March 5th, 2007
For the first time in my two and half year reviewing “career”, I am suffering from what is normally referred to as writer’s block. This condition has just recently kept me stuck on countless word documents with little to no words typed, a migraine-inducing time for any journalist I’m sure. Not to say I’m a journalist because my efforts until now have proven otherwise. For this particular review, around twelve paragraphs were written; all simply to open up the review. Though, when I have a problem digesting a particular project, I usually address the issue straight-out instead of fumbling around with lackluster introductions that really get us nowhere. Chandler Martin must’ve had the same intention when he sat down to write what is today known as the Tour EP 2007. Honesty, sincerity, and a general warmth sway gently with Martin’s solid vocals. He puts everything on the table, opening his heart for The Verdict’s indie-rock flair to take general pop-rock formulas to new heights. With a simple Tour EP in constant rotation on my stereo as of late, there’s no limit to how high this quintet’s follow-up full-length will be.
Through seven tracks, this young North Carolina collective have done nothing short of created an EP that deserves a review twice as good as I am able to write. Both on the stage and on CD, there is an undeniable passion that flows through Chandler Martin’s earnest lyrics and the rest of the band’s ability to craft pop-rock that is refreshing each time you lend it your ear.
“These Are Dreams” kicks off the album and is a prime example of why The Verdict is so outstanding. Jason is the first one heard, cueing a nice entrance with his rolling drum intro that quickly transitions to a slightly minimal yet entirely solid backbone to Chandler and Kasey’s chorus harmonies and gorgeous verse command. Speaking of the two, the vocal aspect from Kasey and Chandler is one of the most charming facets to the EP. While there could be more from Kasey in terms of keyboard inclusion, her gentle vocals accentuates Martin's perfectly. “Never Be The Same” also delves into Chandler’s strong vocal narrative. This track along with “Stay Right Here”’s somewhat hushed bounciness, lead by Will’s well-placed bass groove, are probably the strongest instrumentally and indeed show a different aspect to the band other than Chandler’s forte as the frontman. “Unforgiving”, while translating better on stage, is one of the steadier tracks on the album; riding the smooth rhythm section and delicate electric/acoustic guitar allure. “Night & Day” is the token pop-rock song on the album, displaying qualities that are very signature to the genre but still subject to that waft of Southern honesty and integrity that helps it stand out. This is also a track where Mike, on guitar, steps it up. The kid’s got talent and his searing drive through the entire song undoubtedly gives the rest of the band that necessary push in the right direction. “A Light in the Dark” finishes off the album with my personal favorite of the EP. It bears a slight country influence, or what one might expect from House of Fools. Chandler is at his best here, in my opinion. He sings of hope and being “the one you look too” while strumming the acoustic in front of a slight electric guitar backing.
There’s a reason these guys haven’t left my stereo since I brought Tour EP 2007 home. The Verdict is so unquestionably magnetic with array upon array of sincere pop-rock that never ceases to lift your spirit and bring back your faith in this generation’s musical worth. Normally I like to end questioning whether a band has it in them to go all the way and become the next in the line of Cinderella stories of success. But, I don’t even need to think twice; The Verdict is going all the way.
these guys are fucking amazing. easily the best band on the current TEN tour (besides TEN, of course). they rocked when i saw them in charlotte. i only meant to go in and see them for like 1 or 2 songs but ended up staying for their whole set. they were just so captivating that i couldnt leave. i bought their full-length at their show, which is not as good as this EP, but is still pretty solid. i honestly hope that these guys make it, because they deserve it all. on top of being talented, they're such nice people.
Chandler and the rest of the band are some of the nicest people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. I did a relatively small favor for them, through Joe, a few months ago and when I met them a week or so ago, they were so thankful and appreciative. Not to mention they played a ridiculously awesome set.