That moment when an unfamiliar band (Old Victrola) from your hometown blows you away within your first few minutes spent together is something special.
They make good use of small talk through distorted guitars, picked bass and thumping drums if only to build enough tension before the conversation bursts open with an emotive guitar riff soaring above an unleashing of splashing cymbals and fuzzy guitars. It sort of makes you double over like getting the wind knocked from your gut only for it to be followed by a breath from what feels like a place much bigger than yourself. It's the kind of musical offering that can point you towards all things beautiful through its own beauty and light up a sensation of really being wherever you are, in which you recognize that to somehow be alive in that moment is just enough.
I recently shared this experience with Old Victrola, an indie rock/emo band from Baltimore, MD, who released their debut LP Many Mornings Curse the Evenings this past September. The instrumental opener "6114" began to patiently bleed right into the next track as it emerged from a breaking distorted fog and I wondered if the rest of the album could possibly be as powerfully poignant as its beginning. The answer turned out to be "not quite" ("6114" was the clear highlight and I found the front half to be stronger than the back), but what I discovered was an album filled with beautiful, raw-but-refined-enough rock songs that succeed more often than not.
The production on this thing is top-notch. Recorded, engineered and mixed by Evan Kornblum at Negative Space Studios in the Lauraville neighborhood of Baltimore, and mastered by Collin Jordan at the Boiler Room Studios in Chicago, Many Mornings Curse the Evenings is bound together perfectly with layered soundscapes that never sound muddled or dull. Individual instruments, lead vocals and backing harmonies can be identified quite easily throughout a song because there's a certain textural spaciousness that allows them all room to breathe within a big full-band sound. It's the result of musicians milking the studio setting for all it's worth.
The music executed within that space is impressive too. Frontman/lead guitarist, Jason Brohm, offers soft, raspy vocals that fit alongside pretty guitar melodies. Their songs are really driven by a powerful drumming engine, always feeling fresh, dynamic and creative track by track. The ability to mix up how tension is created and released is a strong point for Old Victrola and the drums play a huge role in that.
Within musical outbursts, high-potency guitar jams if you will, the lead guitar boasts some seriously solid chops, a combination of looser riffing and intentionally repetitive melodic phrasing, all the while never distracting the listener from the band. It's a tight and cohesive sound that feels effortless.
If you appreciate emotive guitar-layered songs with melodic hooks and high-energy instrumental excursions, then I'd suggest taking a listen to these guys.
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