An old friend contacted me last week and said he found an old tape from our days in high school playing in a band. That was over twenty years ago at this point. It was cool hearing it for a sense of nostalgia. Right after that I started listening to Quality by Sand. Well some things change and some things certainly stay the same. After listening to the impressive release it was cool to hear a lot of the same influences we had back then still surface with a younger generation of musicians. At least to my ears there was a lot of inspiration from ’90s punk and alternative acts such as Blink 192 and a litany of indie rock bands.
The band started off with “You Got Me” and I loved the energy and spirit of this song. This song in particular felt like an anthem in the spirit of NOFX and even a little of Dropkick Murphys in the mix. There is also that ’90s malaise that was so popular at a certain point in time. I thoroughly enjoyed this song and the outro is just cathartic.
They continue to impress with perhaps even the more ’90s sounding “Exploded.” The jagged drums riffs, drips of distortion and well delivered vocals all made for a trip down memory lane for me.
“She Wants Me” is a lot more mellow and also more aligned with the “indie rock” sound in the ’90s. This felt like the sound you were getting from Touch and Go Records and bands like Wolf Parade, Deerhunter and early Modest Mouse. They continue to crush with “Hypothetical” which might be the catchiest song in the batch. The vocals and lyrics are really great. They are emotive but not overboard - so good. They don’t disappoint with “Lately.” Oh man the lyrics about the dog who got run over. The lyrics are just fantastic overall and the vocal harmonies are also on point.
This band won me over. The recording quality, delivery and songwriting was all top notch. I’ll send them a personal thank you for keeping the flame alive. Once they get to be my age, hopefully they will discover the younger generation also doing their part.
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