In 2009, the married duo Maya and Jay Klein began the band Guess & Check. They shared song writing and lead vocal duties. In 2011, the Kleins expanded their group by adding their friends Shayna Lewis (bass player) and Barry Ickow (drummer). As a Brooklyn-based band, Guess & Check has performed at various New York venues, including the Cake Shop and Glasslands Gallery. Their first full-length album Entanglement, released in 2014, consists of songs written in a four-year span.
Entanglement fuses indie pop and rock. However, the entire album represents a grab bag of music, where any style, genre, or beat surfaces spontaneously. The alternating vocals help fuel this idea of surprise and mystery with every new track.
Each track on Guess & Check’s Entanglement gives a rock-musical theatric, especially with the singles “Entanglement,” “Lucy Relax,” and “Antidote.” If Entanglement was a rock-opera it would focus on a couple-characters’ journey through pain, growth, and eventual self-acceptance. Additionally, each song contains a distinct sound representative of a musical decade, everything from 60’s female lead singer groups to present day pop-rock bands.
Three songs on Entanglement capture the overarching themes of it. “Lucy Relax” creates an ‘everything will be alright’ calmness, which works with the lyrics. The song’s catchy chorus and slick beats create a tone that’s easy for singing and dancing moments. “Letter” potently captures the idea of exposure and self-reflection with its straightforward lyrics and tension setting instrument accompaniment. The instrumental choices help create the idea of someone exposing their darkness, loneliness and regret through words - not just in the form of a letter but also a diary entry. “My God I Just Realized” plays into the concept of youth anthems. It discusses embracing your passion while maintaining uplifting rhythms. These three tracks highlight the most consistent subjects on Entanglement: freedom of the mind, forgiveness of the past, and reflecting on the future.
Upon initially listening to Entanglement, the changing vocals, styles, and genres created a disconnection. These choices made it difficult for me to understand Guess & Check as a band: who they are and what they want to accomplish with their music. Eventually, I grew to appreciate their creative choices, but Entanglement might work slightly better with a more consistent style and tone. Every track could stand out more on separate albums, or bundled by content or style in EP forms. However, considering the title of the album, creating a musical entanglement might have been Guess & Check’s plan, to which they succeed.
Overall, Guess & Check creates twelve enjoyable, distinct, and relevant stories, which gives Entanglement a lot to explore and appreciate.
We are dedicated to informing the public about the different types of independent music that is available for your listening pleasure as well as giving the artist a professional critique from a seasoned music geek. We critique a wide variety of niche genres like experimental, IDM, electronic, ambient, shoegaze and much more.
Are you one of our faithful visitors who enjoys our website? Like us on Facebook