Since 2010, Gentlemen Rogues have been making an incredible blend of power-pop and indie rock played with a vintage feel. In that time, they’ve shared the stage with the Smoking Popes and The Dandy Warhols and even had radio play on BBC Radio 6. It’s surprising that they haven’t had a full release yet, but their debut, self-titled EP Gentlemen Rogues is one of the strongest efforts I’ve heard this year and is my favorite of the 60 or so reviews I’ve done so far.
Their sound is equally melodic and driving with guitars that is eerily reminiscent of Lovedrug and All Get Out. Danny Dunlap and Cordon Simons do a fantastic job of keeping things interesting without resorting to overly showy guitar playing while bassist Ian Lund and drummer Josh Power hold everything together, playing perfectly in sync. The four-piece format can seem tired as the music scene becomes increasingly over-saturated, but Gentlemen Rogues do a great job of freshening up a very old way of being a band.
On “Run from the Light” Dunlap and Simons' twin-guitar attack kicks of the EP with two distinct guitar riffs that wouldn't be anywhere near as powerful if it wasn't for the fact that they are put together. Lund and Power manage to keep the sound full without making it chunky. "Persistence Is Futile" is a bit more mellow, but only a bit. It's still a driving song that feels perfect for a late night drive through the city. The song's theme of hoplessness continues into "Is Tomorrow Worth Tonight,” a song that brings the tempo back up and brings the mood way down as it describes a couple that isn't sure if their relationship is even worth fighting over anymore. "We Can't Stop Moving" features a surprise retro chorus amidst the very modern indie rock of the verses and does so without pretension or irony.
The overall tone of the record is quite dark and stands in direct contrast with the poppy nature of their particular brand of indie rock. There wasn’t a single moment during my listening where I found myself bored and wishing that I could listen to something else
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