The four-piece band Gentlemen Rogues comprised of Danny Dunlap (vocals, guitar), Cordon Simons (guitar, vocals), Brandon Tucker (bass) and Josh Power (drums) formed in 2010 and has been on quite a roll. The band has played with renowned acts such as Smoking Popes, Lemonheads and The Dandy Warhols to name a few and their self-titled release, which we reviewed displayed an explosive band who could hang with some of the best that indie rock has to offer. Their particular brand of rock will resonate with fans of bands like Ted Leo & the Pharmacists, Superchunk and Archers of Loaf.
The band didn’t waste anytime getting back into the studio and recording another EP entitled A History So Repeating. At the time they were headed into the studio the band was listening to Superdrag’s Head Trip in Every Key, My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless and The Replacements’ Tim. The influence from Superdrag and The Replacements isn’t too hard to spot but the My Bloody Valentine reference came to me as a surprise. That being said, one of the songs goes into shoegaze territory. I’ll let you figure which song this is. Although there are bands you can point to for comparison make no doubt it that Gentlemen Rogues are carving out their own sound.
The songs’ biggest strength on A History So Repeating is their energy. I would doubt that many people could listen to these songs and not feel a surge of adrenaline. The very first track “Your Armageddon” packs a punch of power from the cascading guitar lines, steady bass and creative drumming. On top of that Dunlap’s vocals are delivered with s sense or urgency as if he can’t get out the words fast enough.
A steady stream of kinetic, upbeat music continues with “Empathy For The Devil.” I was impressed with some of the changes and parts in the song, which displayed the thought that the band put in to the songs. Things like a measure of just drums before jumping into the verse or the short but effective build up before the two-minute mark.
The third track “A Little Respect” (an Erasure Cover) is a shift in momentum. The guitars are relatively clean and the vocals and drums are at on top of the mix. They do the song justice and make it their own. The original synth based dance version is also worth checking out if you haven’t heard it before.
As the EP progresses “Thin As Thieves” and “Mocking Love Out of Nothing At All” fall in line with the first two tracks. They are solid songs with some exceptional guitar parts. The last track “Cap In Hand” is the arguable highlight. Dunlap delivers infectious vocal melodies and the song goes into unexpected but welcome territory that I hope they explore more in the future.
A History So Repeating isn’t reinventing the wheel but the band delivers quality songs that don’t take a lot of effort to enjoy. The songs are unpretentious fun that further solidifies Gentlemen Rogues as one of the newer bands that should be in your playlist.
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