Levi Minson (guitar/vocals), Matt Walker (guitar/piano/vocals) and Daniel Baylis (bass/drums) are 100 House. They put out Shortgun which is a four-song EP which at the very least establishes a solid foundation. The band undeniably has an “indie rock” type vibe which can draw comparisons to bands like Elliott Smith, Pavement and Real Estate. I have to also mention that the band formed in March so they are just starting to explore their sound and get comfortable.
I thought the songs had a warm melancholy to them which I am always a sucker for. The vocal performances really stuck out to me and I thought Minson and Walker sounded great together.
Up first is “Rale” which gives you a good idea of the band's sound. The music didn't give me any surprises good or bad but the song had a number of catchy hooks. The lyrics aren't all that poetic but were original and unique. The vocalist sing,s “I've been reduced to property tax /Please patch me through to Susan, from H.R. Where's the line dividing us? Susan what's the deal?”
I starting listening to “Shortgun“ and once I heard the vocal harmonies and guitar picking I thought this song was going to be epic. Instead the song felt like a transitional piece which repeats with added layering. I felt it went on about forty-five seconds too long for that purpose and I have to admit that I was a little disappointed they didn't explore different places the song could go because I thought it had the best riff.
“Shiva” shows the band back in great form. The Elliott Smith type of vibe is pretty strong on this track and arguably the highlight. They close with the most experimental song entitled “Beehive Man/The Green Backyard.” It reminded me of the Wilco song “Reservations” where the song drifts into radio transmission and other sounds. I thought this song would have worked better on a full-length then a four-song EP. It would have been a little easier to appreciate with at least five or six meaty songs behind it with solid hooks. The artistry outweighs musicianship and just felt a little premature.
I'm interested in where they can go from here. They have the tools and talent and I think a little more time together as a band and they will start figuring out their sound. This is a solid start and I surmise their best work is yet to come.
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