Garret Murdock (vocals/guitar/bass guitar/drums/percussion/keyboard/piano) and Matt Wargin (guitar/drums/keyboard/piano/bass guitar/percussion/backing vocals) are the two who make up Earth Spun Occupants. In 2015 they released Sun Songs & Moon Rhythms and are back with their sophomore effort entitled Sober Thoughtfulness.
For as existential as this band seems to be from their bio they play pretty down to earth rock music. That being said the band does like to pour on the reverb to make it feel as if they are playing in an cosmic arena. There is arguably a little too much reverb on the opener “Freezing and Melting” because I couldn’t understand the lyrics to the songs.
In fact the vocals felt more like another instrument that blended in with music. That very well could have been an aesthetic decision. The band's finest moment on the song comes about halfway in where they sound reminiscent of the band Tame Impala. Although that vibe is not continued with the ’80s style guitar solo.
Up next is “Clocks” which had more of an overt ’90s alternative vibe to my ears. It’s a solid track that was pretty straightforward with a good amount of hooks. The highlight to my ears was “Complete.” The banjo was a great addition to thesong but only part of the reason it stuck out to me. The dynamic progression of the song and the vocal melodies were very well done. I thought the hopeful, uplifting energy of the song worked.
The next highlight was “Dissociate.” I really enjoyed the subdued vocal melodies where I could hear the vocals clearly in the mix. The song has a couple of great hooks. I have to admit “Explorers” reminded me of the ’90s band The Black Crows which was a band I haven’t thought of in a long time while “Liquid” is an intense wall of sound veering towards hard rock and maybe even metal. They close with a reflective song entitled “Pulse Of A Harmony.”
Earth Spun Occupants seem to be a hair away from really finding their own signature sound which is no easy feat. It felt a little elusive to me when thinking about all of their songs as a whole. The band goes big often and way more often than not that works in their favor. I also felt some of their more subdued moments were just as powerful which I’d love to hear them explore on future albums.
Overall, this is a worthy followup to their debut and seems like a small step forward in their evolution. This band has a solid future in store for them if they keep it up.
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