Hailing from Illinois 4Months In make upbeat funk infused indie rock that has elements of bands like Maroon 5 as well as a slew of ‘90s alternative rock. The band is made up of Ian Rottner (vocals, guitar), Jesus-luis Pacheco (bass) and Andrew Bonczkowski (drums). They have some innate technical ability and chemistry but their style at this point feels largely derivative and lacks the necessary ingredients that will separate them from an oversaturated market.
It doesn’t take too much music knowledge to hear the riffs and song structures on their self-titled EP 4Months In, which seems too familiar at times. To the band’s credit it's not they sound like one particularly band but just don’t have a sound that define the originality of the band. It’s a typical problem you hear with bands during their first album but luckily it is something that usually gets ironed out after months, sometime years of playing together.
The production itself is a little better than average for a home recording. I give credit to the sound engineer Ryan Stare for his work here but it still lacks some of the things you automatically expect from a professional release. The guitars and vocals still needed that polish that professional studios provide but nonetheless I was impressed by things like low-end mitigation and separation.
The band starts off with “Complaints,” which is the most funky and Maroon 5-like the band gets. I could see the patrons at the local bar groovin’ to this one. The band locks in pretty good to the groove but I did notice a couple of instances that they were a bit off time. Again something that will get more refined as they play together more.
As the album progresses the band excels on the instrumental “Lunar Eclipse” while on “Sssin City” they try to delve into their southern hard rock roots. Rottner over compensates a bit with his vocal style at points feeding too much into clichés. The song’s best moment is towards the end when they pull a Smashing Pumpkins-esque guitar riff and some stellar drumming.
The band at this point could have a long stay at local bars in the northwest suburbs with their style but if they want to compete with the upper echelon of rock they will have to evolve past some of their predictability. As this is their first release and not their fourth I think this is certainly within the realm of possibility and I hope to hear it on their next release.
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