Two years ago the three-piece band roosevelt. comprised of Danny Poland (vocals/guitar), James Dean (bass/vocals) and Matt Starling (drums) released their debut album entitled Speak Softly. It was a solid effort but compared to their sophomore release If This Is Everything... it feels like the band’s meager beginnings. The production, singing, songwriting and really all aspects have improved with If This Is Everything.... I have to say the singer has really improved on this record. Poland sounds more dynamic and has largely shed sounding like an indignant pop punk teen.
Take for instance the first song “Feel The Comedown” where Poland jumps around octave ranges and is able to hit higher notes without straining his voice to the point of sounding bad. It’s not only the singing that carries the song but the steady rhythm section and the distorted guitars.
The band continues to impress with “These Are My Bones.” It starts with a palm muted, bass and sporadic drums. The singing is subtle and benefits from well placed harmonies and accents. “I’ve Had Deep Gashes” veers away from starting with distortion and chooses to goes atmospheric.
The post-rock style guitar is reverb laced and the drumming is in the pocket while being technically and creatively impressive. As the song progresses the band does rock out with some distortion but also goes into a number of experimental places. Take for instance the breakdown right before the three-minute mark.
As the album progresses there were a number of other highlights. “We’ve Been Revived” touts an awesome guitar solo while “It’s This Ice” is an atmospheric, dreamlike relying on vocals and guitars. They close with “(arche) of Pathos” which could be the single off the album. It’s immediately accessible and has mainstream viability.
Seeing a band improve like this is almost as satisfying for the listeners as it for the band. It’s obvious the band has been consistently practicing and doing the leg work to get to this point. The proof is in the pudding. Take a listen.
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