One way to get people to pay attention to your music is to have a woman screaming at the top of her lungs on the first track. At the very least it will get their attention for the first ten to fifteen seconds. That's how Ellery Daines decided to start his recent release RANTS. After the initial scream you greeted to off-kilter rock music in which Daines played every instrument.
Let’s talk about that for a second. Daines is really a good guitarist and drummer. I thought you could only be really good at one or the other. Daines especially crushes when it comes to lead guitar. The other thing I need to point out that RANTS is completely DIY. Daines used consumer gear and the results are much better than I would have predicted. I couldn't believe the drum sound he got with the gear he had. Impressive stuff.
The songs on RANTS don’t immediately sink their teeth into you. The hooks are subtle and are usually discovered after about the fourth time listening. Even then these songs aren’t particularly sing-along worthy but that's not a bad thing - simply a preference.
The opening song “Spiders” is a rock song that Daines has some fun with. I enjoyed the little bluesy feel and the reverb tails on his vocals. Daines is a good singer not a great one but he gets the job done. He definitely has some inspired moments. The next track is a bluesy rocker that would sound good at 2:00 am after you had too much to drink. Solid performances all around from Haines. The guitar solo towards the end is absolutely wicked and not to be missed.
“A Song at the End” is a hard-hitting relatively straightforward garage rock song while “Afterthought” is delivered softly with no more than his guitar and vocals. The centerpiece and highlight was “Kid.” The seven-minute track has a good amount of changes. I really enjoyed the build up he has in the song such as the one around the two-minute mark. He closes with “Pretty Little Thing” which is another solid track that revolves around an acoustic guitar, bells and a good amount of nostalgia and melancholy.
RANTS is an impressive piece of work but not without flaws. There is plenty to appreciate here amongst the minor mishaps.
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