FIVES was formed in Baltimore, MD, in 2008 and is still going strong. Marc Cashin and Matthew White are members of the band. In 2010 they released A Brief History and by 2015 were opening for national touring acts like The Vespers and O-Town. The band's latest Heart & Thunder is a six-song EP that showcases a band with a life affirming type of energy. They don’t particularly sound like U2 but the songs are epic in that kind of way that make you say “ok maybe today can be a beautiful day.”
They open up with an Intro that's literally called “Introduction.” It’s a short ambient piece. When this sort of atmospheric music opens an EP or album I never know what to expect and that was the case here.
After the intro the band launches into the title track. The song does have some of those life affirming qualities I was talking about. During the verse I couldn't help but think of Passion Pat between the synths and dance worthy beat. It’s a catchy song and well written but also not really indicative of what else is up the band's sleeve.
Take for instance the very next song “My Gravity” which sounds like a combination between Dave Matthews Band and something off the album Graceland by Paul Simon. The chorus goes into epic territory.
The band makes another stylistic deviation with “Lovers In Lullaby” which sounds more aligned with a band like Depeche Mode. The verse has an ’80s vibe which I enjoyed. The band is not done with dipping into different styles. “Here We Go” is a guitar heavy song that could almost be considered hard rock if it wasn’t dance-y bass. “You Go On” is a pop ballad in many ways. This song felt the most like it was destined for FM radio.
Heart & Thunder felt like it veers more towards pop than indie underground in many ways. The huge sounding choruses and general structure of the songs felt more apt for radio pay. Overall, this EP really doesn't have two songs that sound alike. There are pros and cons about that fact. Take a listen but don’t base the band's sound on one song.
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