Chase Spruiell (guitar/vocals), Paul Pinon (drums), Sam Howden (trumpet/keys), Jo Ellis (bass/guitar/whistle), Mary Beth (cello) and Tiffany Weiss (violin) are Half Man. Room to Grow is the second release from the group and seems as if Spruiell has upped the ante. Everything from the production to the delivery has improved significantly from his first release.
His music melds genres like folk, Americana and rock. The songs can be uplifting, haunting and plenty of places in between.
Up first is “New Year Headlock.” I really have no idea what that means but I do love the name. Orchestral strings lay against guitar while Spruiell sings, “you come out of the kitchen on a January night the room covered in pictures of the years that you left behind.” The song is catchy, heartfelt and dynamic.
“Little Bit Of Virtue” starts off on the right foot with tons of spirit. The drums in particular really pick up the energy but it's the melodies on the chorus you will be singing along with. He sings, “I don't know if I should run I don't know if I should hide I spent years to hold this hand a pair of twos, three, six, and five.”
“Bonneville Salt Flat Rebel” is another great name which I like even though I have no idea what it means. It’s another song for the win column. The song has zero fat on it as the band gets in and out with catchy melodies in under three minutes.
“Love Upon Your Name” is a little more reflective and nostalgic. The band hits upon a country vibe and decides to keep it rather simple. The guitar and vocal taking the limelight. The mood continues to be thoughtful and reflective with “From Wounds” at least at first. I love how this song transforms into an epic, hopeful ballad by the time it's over.
“Song For You” is sparse and effective while the closing title track was a highlight. I absolutely loved the orchestral strings on this track as well as the vocal melody. The lyrics as well hit the sweet spot between profound and saccharine. My favorite lines were the last ones. He sings, “you didn't want to come to this where you're unsure why things exist I guess it is some kind of joke all of this room to grow.” Great way to close the album.
There’s nothing better in my opinion then an artist coming into his own and that’s what I think happened with this release for Spruiell. Highly recommended.
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