Tuolumne by New Chums is a fantastic EP of indie-power-pop gems. The songs are well constructed, sung and played with traces of Franz Ferdinand, The Killers and more throughout.
“For The Cause” opens the EP with strokes of The Strokes in the melody and guitar tone. Busy hi-hat work contrasts with a syncopated bass line making for an interesting backdrop behind the legato long tones of the vocal melody. It’s catchy, though the instrumental interlude could use something more to enhance it between the choruses.
“Come On, Come On” uses the stuttering entrances of “My Generation” with an early Beach Boys-like melody, but with grunge-y buzzy guitars. It’s an interesting blend of chirp and rock, and quite effective. The new wave-y octaves in the instrumental build excitement, and the drums have some great tom work before each chorus playing off the contrapuntal bass line.
“Bad Part Of Town” has some anthemic qualities of a U2 song with its slow burn of momentum. Snare drum rolls evolve to hi-hat flourishes, and electric guitars explode from subtle chugging to reverbed melodies that chime and shine. The end comes out of nowhere and is a bit abrupt, but still is clever and effective.
“City With No Dreams” has a catchy melody and a dance-y groove to it. There is a nice rhythmic evolution that happens in the second verse, letting the song develop and move. The instrumental breakdown is a great transition too, showing contrast with the pulsing rhythm of the rest of the song and adding a tambourine to the final chorus really propels it through the ending.
“Recall” finishes the EP and starts as almost a coda of “City Of Dreams” with a similar melody developed from the previous track. The song soon becomes its own though with guitar countermelodies interweaving between choruses and building palm muted chords under the verse, which let the melodic bass peek out. The Spanish infused guitar solo adds some character to the song before the final chorus, adding a subtle touch of variety.
Overall, the EP has lots of strong performances and songwriting. Some of the mastering seems to have compressed it quite a bit, perhaps dulling some of the edges of the exciting playing that the band is doing. It would be nice to hear a bit more dynamics from them, but that said the songs stand up quite well.
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