Grackle? What’s that? Did the band make this word up? I’d like to know what it means.The only thing I found from my extensive Google searching is a type of bird. Maybe I’ll never know but I think the band should have an explanation on their website as to why they decided to go with this name. It’s keeping me awake at night and now my wife is also searching for answers as to the meaning of this word.
Steve Katsikas (vocals/keyboards/saxophones/guitars), Jeff Gard (drums), Steve Dietrich (bass), and Joanna Katsikas (vocals) are the members behind this band and their debut album is called Wintergarden. The production is exceptional and the band explores a variety of different genres.
The music can be dramatic, epic and nostalgic. It also has a vibe that you trace back to the ’80s on many of the songs. Everything from elements of prog to cinematic rock in the spirit of Meatloaf. In all honesty this album doesn’t mesh with many acts in the mainstream or the underground of today. You may at first think that’s not necessarily a good thing but I beg to differ. I guarantee that a band hoping to jump upon a bandwagon or sound is already too late. By the time the band releases their music it will already become passe. Bands like Grackle have more of a chance of being recognized because they don’t sound like the songs that are dominating people's Spotify playlists and airwaves (although I wonder how many people still listen to the radio).
The band opens with “Take Every Road” and this one is about as epic as they come. I don’t remember the saxophone being this huge sounding. Suffice it to say the song is quite epic from the instrumentation to the lyrics.
Luckily, the band doesn’t go quite as epic on the next couple of tracks. “Pieces” is lush and atmospheric while “Winter Garden” is a solid rock song that is melodic.There is a good amount of versatility as the album progresses with “Hold On To Sunshine,” “The Truth Has Eyes” and “Interstate of Circumstance.”
There are some albums where you can tell the band put a lot of time and effort into it. The proof is really in the pudding. Wintergarden is unequivocally one of those albums. At ten songs this is a full-fledged album that feels like an album should from beginning to end.
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