The Gallery - Restless
Record Label: Self-released (via IndieGoGo)
Release Date: Feb. 26, 2013
Ladies and gentleman, meet the new kings of Top 40 radio: Los Angeles, CA's The Gallery.
On their full-length debut Restless, this arena-ready quartet packs enough wallop to make current chart-toppers blush. Album opener "White Noise Town" is anthemic, towering and nothing short of arresting. Vocalist Brendan Cooney has an urgent and impassioned croon that tugs at the first listen. Ditto to the gang-vocal and hand-clap infused "Young and Restless," a jangly should-be chart-topper that screams platinum from the opening seconds. The disc's first half continues with radio-ready material on the sweetly affecting "Fast Friends," the bursting ballad "Restless Soul," the brisk and buoyant "Wild at Heart," and the pensive, organ-driven "The Fever," which is arguably one of the disc's best. Long-lasting, timeless and undeniably accessible, "The Fever," is a song the band can hang their hat on for years to come.
On the second half, the hit parade continues with gusto. There's the tightly packed "The Runaround," the Petty-inspired "Ballroom of Broken Hearts," the lilting ballad "Lost Inside Forever," and the soon-to-be-fan-favorite "Catalyst." Restless closes out with the punchy "Hard On Me" and the country-leaning ballad "Dream Girl." Much like "The Fever," "Dream Girl" is a song can look back on with immense pride. With an ageless accessibility, there's little to dislike about it and seems to have a simple grace that is both alarming and eye opening. In short, it almost feels as if the quartet has ten more songs like this at the ready.
A vast step forward from the oft-overlooked Come Alive EP, Restless is a hook-laden gem of a record for anyone who isn't afraid to embrace the pop gloss of Top 40 radio. Once upon a time (say the late 90s) music like this was beloved by the masses and sold like hot cakes. These days albums like Restless are few and far between, consigned to niche audiences and those who aren't ashamed to stay consigned to terrestrial radio stations. Whether The Gallery sees that fate remains to be seen, but any record exec should be able to see the star potential in each of these twelve songs. As sturdy and confident as any disc released so far this year, Restless is a triumph and a startling step forward from a band that won't be under the radar for long.