Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The Sound of Curves - Gone Gatsby

The Sound of Curves - Gone Gatsby 

The unique confluence of power and outside the box creativity going into the third release from San Antonio’s The Sound of Curves is unabashedly crossed with energetic vocal harmonies and a genuine sense for substantive pop music. This four piece has managed to earn quite a bit of respect since their 2009 founding for their ability to bring rather disparate sounds together under the same tent and retain coherence of sound and theme. Their style will draw comparisons with other bands of this generation, like Kings of Leon for instance, but The Sound of Curves pursue a brighter sound in general, something with a lot of uplift that never wastes the listener’s time with extended displays of the member’s musicianship. Their fourteen song third album Gone Gatsby features all of the above mentioned elements and shows a band who has learned to diversify their songwriting results enough to set them further apart from their peers and claim more of their own style.  

Vocal harmonies are a big part of their musical presentation and it is obvious from the outset. Singers Leonel Pompa and Roger Maher have uniquely simpatico voices that cry out from the mix, never allowing themselves to disappear under wave after wave of guitar muscle, and make a tremendous impact on the listener. The first real illustration of this comes with the title track. “Gone Gatsby” might be an anthem, but it doesn’t earn the listener’s attention in a cheap or shabby way. Instead, it is exhortative without being insulting, and the immense guitars and rhythm section work come together to push the vocals even higher than they might otherwise go. “Disco” is an impressive energetic tune that sounds like it might run off the rails at any minute. It never does, naturally, but the suggestion of flying by the seat of their pants makes the song one of the most exhilarating tracks on Gone Gatsby. “Josephine” will have many fans. This song features the album’s best pure melody, initially quite uncluttered and played on guitar with a surprising lack of sonic clutter, but the band builds the song’s riffs around the same melody and, thus, the song as a whole gains even more power and immediacy. 

“Crawl” and “London” rank among the album’s best outright rockers. The former marvelously undercuts its own title with uptempo energy and great, clashing guitars while the latter comes remarkably close to straight blues, but the band can’t resist twisting things around to give it a voice all their own. “Midnight” is a rocker as well, but this song relies a little more on keyboard and synth sounds to further flesh out the potential color in the tune. “Blinker” and the album’s final number “Whiskey Wrongs” are the band’s final nods in this stylistic direction and combine their talent for alternative rock with refurbished takes on traditional forms. Their creativity is beyond question on Gone Gatsby and The Sound of Curves have laid the solid groundwork with this album that’s needed to take their music even further on future releases.  

9 out of 10 stars

Joshua Stryde

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