Is that Pearl Jam? No, but close. No Plateau open their first EP No Peak in a series of four EPs with a solid vocal chant that is nothing short of Eddie Vedder’s warm ups. Sean Murphy’s vocals clearly are his own and express a more punk rock and gritty flavor, but in that initial moment they were early ‘90s legends.
The music is one part alternative rock, two parts punk and a dash of Long Beach flair a la Sublime. It all makes for an exciting sound, but if you couldn’t infer, also a dated one. This style came and went and I don’t know if No Plateau succeeds in bringing it back for me. That being said, it is a pleasant revisiting to my adolescence and if it can bring that kind of nostalgia to the breadth of listeners, that’s a great thing.
“Open Rooms, Narrow Halls” is the standout track. The vocals are dynamic and striking, using some catchy percussion and sound bite ditties of melody. It all fits well with the layering of guitar, starting thin and offbeat and graduating to a full on spaced out solo. This song keeps you going from beginning to end, even bringing in a dance inciting hi-hat pulse right before the close. Talk about a constant moving arc, this song leaves no room for lapse.
Steve Rogers was a guy I used to know who played a mean sax and worked at the local cheap digs liquor store. No Plateau’s final track is named in his honor. No it’s not, but that would be awesome. “Steve Rogers” is all about that hearty two-part harmony following the chorus. The weight of it is just epic, the guitars swell and throb distortion and the drums smash into half time with all the aggression of a frustrated youth. Bravo, No Plateau. You bring some aged jams back to the millennial core but disguise it with indie fodder so as to retain modern edge. It works.
And let’s not dismiss the correlation between artist and album at hand – No Plateau, No Peak. These guys will always seek the zenith and will never curb in their quest to reach it, although it doesn’t exist because there’s no climax point. Wrap your head around that mentality.
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