Floridians, three musicians from Texas, play with irony in their name and the sound on their album Settle Down isn’t exactly what you’d expect either. It was like Coldplay and U2 met in the middle and decided to kick out the jams with anthems that played out with synth rock abandon.
The power of the keyboard has been making a great resurgence into the rock scene, almost as if our generation is collectively and possibly subconsciously calling out for the sounds that surrounded us in our formative years. The ‘80s had a lot of ethereal glory and it’s a matter of nostalgia as far as I’m concerned. So you put that influence into a modern rock sound and just watch the fireworks. It’s everything epic from “The Joshua Tree” married to the infectious musings of Simple Minds and The Cure. If you have a soft spot for that era this band will surely please.
Settle Down has a solid collection of great songs and I’ll just start from the top, but I urge you all to dig in on your own as my work can only serve as a glossing when it comes to the potential this album might have on you. There’s a lovely Bono quality to the vocal on “Rally Cap,” a swelling gem of rock that touches on some powerful instrumentation heightened during the huge sounding outro. Some of the best gang vocals can be heard on “St. Augustine.” Beyond that this song just serves as an uplifting message complete with attractive guitar work and memorable hooks.
My standout track was narrowly won, nonetheless, congratulations to “Bent Tree.” It’s a cool and grooving wash with Modest Mouse harmonies and hypnotizing tremolo. The lyrics are urgent, but the music takes its time soaring over a wall of sound anchored by a killer backbeat.
“Gouda” also has a heavily contributing beat that swings when it should and is rock steady by design. The chorus has great movement and is another example of their knack for the catchy, albeit the verses sometimes merely serve as formality. Overall, Floridians make a name for themselves with this project, fueling a rock revival that we haven’t brushed upon since 1987.
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