The four-piece band Bandini comprised of Nick Hendriks, Abel Gonzalez, Seth Pages and Ryan Gonzalez seemed to be having fun despite the bleak lyrics on their release Alleyways. It’s evident within the songs, which the young band that formed in 2013 play. There's no pretense behind the six songs on Alleyways - just guys who want you to join in.
Alleyways is an impressive effort in a number of ways. First off the band recorded, mixed and mastered the EP themselves and even though the results aren't what you hope for from a professional studio the band does a good job at creating songs that sound above demo quality. The songs themselves while adhering to a lot of tropes you would expect from garage rock 101 are well thought out and delivered.
Alleyways begins with “Mustard Bath” which, between the chord progression and energy, is the most reflective of a band like The Strokes. In fact the band sounds more like The Strokes than the actual band has in the last couple of years. Bandini finds an infectious, kinetic energy that never contains any lulls. It builds and builds with layers of guitar and vocal harmonies. “Mustard Bath” reiterates a classic yet contemporary tale of getting bummed out cause that special someone is nowhere to be found. He sings, “and i can't think clear cause you’re not here i'm spilling out my guts now the pressure beats my brain down cause i’m blue.”
The band explores a similar theme of loss on “Hard.” Between the exceptional bass and guitar parts this song is arguably the highlight. The lead singer sounds a bit like Tim Harrington from Les Savy Fav on this song.
As the EP progresses you realize all the songs revolve around loss and a broken heart. It doesn’t take much scrutiny to notice that on a song entitled “I'm Gonna Miss Her.” The band closes with “Where We Are Today” which is just as enjoyable as “Hard.”
Alleyways isn’t trying to be something it’s not. These songs are straightforward, catchy and instantly replayable.
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