Emerson Buck (vocals/guitar), Patrick Bailer (bass/vocals) and Monroe Heustess (drums) are Schmooze. The trio has a familiar story. They formed in high school playing covers and added Bailer in college. Soon after they started playing college gigs and then went into a studio to record Mind Eraser. They kind of sounds like the life doesn’t it. Being young, playing music and having fun.
Schmooze isn't the most innovative or creative band I’ve heard in the last six months but they deliver catchy songs that are easy to enjoy. As a three-piece they do keep it simple. A lot of songs revolve around major and minor scales and 4/4 time signatures. The songs are carried by the vocals.
They also have a pretty general rock sound. The band mentions bands like Foo Fighters, Arctic Monkeys and Red Hot Chili Peppers as influences and that sound feels about as general as those influences. Their music is not esoteric enough to fit into a niche indie category or even within the label of “indie.” If anything the music feels more aligned with alternative.
They start off the album with “Mind Eraser” which is indicative of what else you can expect moving forward. The song revolves around basic chord progression with a fairly predictable breakdown and climb back up. I enjoyed Bucks’ vocal delivery on this song along with many other songs.
The songs have some variation as the album moves forward. “Back to the Start” is a high energy rock song while “Schemin'” contains a spoken word breakdown section. I can’t say there were many surprises going forward but there was consistently and notable efforts such as “Gambling Life” and “Hearts Alive”.
Schmooze is a good band and definitely one you wouldn't mind stumbling into at a bar on a Friday night. The only advice I would give them is to see what else they can conjure up to stick out from the crowd. It doesn't have to be a gimmick but their music is familiar sounding and general which isn’t a bad thing but also something that holds back a band from gaining a large fanbase. I’d like to hear what else they can do to give the band an identifiable sound.
Overall, Mind Eraser is a fun, well written album even though it felt familiar. Recommended.
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