Akron, Ohio's Ledges claim to be inspired by "the hard hitting sounds of the Alternative/Indie scene." Makes me wonder what indie rock they're listening to, as this style is just as likely to sell Honda Elements and Ray Bans as it is to push the boundaries of music forward.
Ledges are basically pop rock with a wide-screen artistic scope - a replacement Coldplay for those who need to seem more in the know. There's nothing wrong with cinematic pop music, and, indeed, everything sounds pretty stellar on The Indian Summer, it just hints at the approximation of the real thing, rather than the thing itself. Whatever emotions may have inspired these four songs, initially, are sometimes lost but not always beneath the veneer of studio polish, mock-heroic reverb on every single element. This is in large part because of the vocals, with every syllable being delivered in a Shatner-style melodrama. The peaks and valleys have been sanded off, leaving something so smooth, it slides right off the ear.
That being said there are many fine details on The Indian Summer, most notably the chiming, rippling guitar, that is restrained and plays exactly what needs to be there. The arrangements are there, the fidelity is there and they certainly have some chemistry.
I get the feeling Ledges' motivation is to find mainstream success. Popularity is something that happens along the way, not the goal itself. If a band explores what makes them distinctive, and what they are actually trying to convey, they may find a more enduring following.
Truth be told there are probably billions of people who will love this. People that like epic rock like U2, Coldplay, and Band Of Horses will swoon to the romantic, reverbed vocals. I foresee these tracks issuing out from white convertibles and high school dances, the world over.
Ledges' claim that the process of recording The Indian Summer brought the band closer together, and gave them a clearer vision of the future. Should be interesting to see what they come up with. Peel back the lacquer, and let some cracks and scars show.
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