Cardigan Terrace is a rock trio consisting of Brett Doutre (vocals, guitar), Scott Gilmour (bass) and Blake Pena (drums) from West Chester, PA that recently released their debut EP entitled Hang for the Hard Times. This is a strong release with fairly straightforward rock/pop songs that are well written and well delivered. The music is easily digestible and contains catchy often-infectious melodies that are carried by the vocal melody.
The first song “Meet Me Tomorrow” displays the strengths of the band, which include the vocal delivery of Doutre and was the innate chemistry and energy of the band. “Meet Me Tomorrow” revolves around an electric guitar with a fair amount of grit, pretty intense drumming and a bass line that holds it all together. A little over halfway through the band reaches its climax with an inspired harmonica solo.
“Broken Knees” is basically a two-part song and a clear highlight. The first section revolves around guitar picking, light cymbal tapping and one of my personal favorite vocal melodies. There is a clear transition into a more visceral, rocking section that is marked by Doutre yelling “Hey” with conviction. “Caldera” is the most single worthy song on the EP. The vocal harmony is familiar sounding and rides a loose wave of good times. The bass line is notable on this song.
For some reason I was expecting the band to end with a slow, acoustic song but instead I was greeted with one of the fastest and exuberant songs on the album. It leaves with more energy than it started with and was fine way to end the album if you ask me.
The songs on Hand for the Hard Times are simple but effective. They revolve around basic chord progressions and rhythms but there’s nothing wrong with that in my book. If you need some immediate poppy rock song action then give this a spin.
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