Who likes an album that is action packed and full of surprises at every rip? I do, I do!! If that sounds like your cup of tea, then waste no time and listen to Liquid City Harbor’s debut album nDroves. If you like rock, some metal, smooth vocals, growls, shoegaze, pop, fast speeds mixed with slow speeds and much more, you’re in for a treat.Throughout the album the band tries and sometimes pulls off songs that feel epic not unlike something you might hear from a band like Muse or Thirty Seconds To Mars.
“Masses” begins ominously, with jangling piano notes weaving around a sharp-footed violin. It’s a great introduction to “The Cavalry,” which surprised me a bit with the super dirty guitars. It’s got a bit of a Western touch, particularly with the tambourine in the background and the smooth, deep vocals. What I like about this song is how unexpectedly heavy it is, alternating between the Western theme described before and a super hard rock/heavy metal bridge. The build into an instrumental version of the main melody rounded the song out beautifully.
If you want a nice taste of vocal range, “Sinon” is the answer. The singer has some great highs and respectable lows, and the dash of growls was just the right spice to add to the mix. The last minute raised goose bumps on my arms, with the soft and subtle notes providing a stark contrast to the energy that existed throughout the rest of the song. Another great vocal song was “Euphrates” – a violin could have easily been used in place of the vocals, but this was a more unique take on the sound and I enjoyed the reappearance of the edgy, not-quite-but-almost growls near the end.
There were a few songs that intrigued me for distinctive reasons, and were scattered about like treasure hunt prizes. For example, “Crooks and Thieves” could have been on a completely different album, leaning (really, leaping) into the shoegaze territory and dragging some pop along with it. “Revamp” isn’t quite poppy but is particularly catchy and has a nice instrumental breakdown of sorts. And If Top Gun met alternative rock, “Our Night” would be the wonderful bundle of joy that came from it. It’s also got some nice humor in the lyrics, which is always fun.
I wasn’t quite sure what to do with myself when “Nightmare” came on. It starts off a bit classic, then abruptly gets very deep, slow, heavy and groovy for the verse. This stop-and-go continues throughout, keeping the listener on the tip of their toes. It truly was one of the most attention grabbing songs, and I even had a great deal of fun trying to keep up with all the tempo changes.
Liquid City Harbor’s main downside is that some of the delivery is akin to bands that could be in the genre of douche rock. Now depending on how you look at this it could be a good thing or bad thing.I have to say, though, if you want a true sneak peek at much of what this album has to offer, just listen to the closer “Event Horizon.” It’s all there: Top Gun, shoegaze, alternative, vocal range, instrumental interlude, tempo changes – everything. This song is a great way to illustrate why I enjoyed this album . It’s not always easy to mix a ton of different influences and seemingly conflicting sound ideas into one cohesive and trademark sound, but Liquid City Harbor managed to pull it off.
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