Drew McClellan, Jared Elrod and Adam Snook are on to something with their band Gravity Tapes. They have a unique style that blends rock and free jazz on their recent EP entitled The Blue Suede. When you listen to the songs on this EP it instills a sense of relaxation as if you ingested a Xanax followed by a shot of cognac. The guitars are clean, the drums are airy and the bass is smooth. On top of the music McClellan scats/sings/raps in a style that ultimately reflects the tranquil, sedative quality of the music. Now don't get confused. Just because this music is chill and relaxing doesn’t mean it’s boring. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. The music is great for putting on at a small get- together or listening to with a pair of headphones.
The EP starts with “Because of Me,” which revolves around strategically placed percussion and a killer bass line that supports arguably the best vocal performance on the EP. The music is spacious and a blast to listen to but McClellan really carries this song. He delivers the lines “everything's got a weight gotta pull in the hay load... same old same old... caught a word from a bird just the other day... maybe i don’t know what the future holds in store for us, but fuck, who does?” with a hip, I don’t have a care in the world swagger.
The second song “Jesus and the Uppers” strays from the palette of the first song and sounds like a band in a room playing together. It’s well written with an unconventional chord structure and a great but subtle bass line. Speaking of awesome bass it continues on “Pulse.” Elrod pulls out a jazz walking bass line as Snook starts to flex his muscles as well. “Sandy” contains a number of intricate, technically creative guitar parts while McClellan lays down his scat-style singing.
They close with the biggest deviation called “Sweeter Than Sugar,” which has an upbeat Russian circus via Tom Waits vibe that is the closest they come to a dance song.
There are a lot of good things happening on this EP. It seems to me that Gravity Tapes has a solid, original sound that they should continue to explore.
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