Matthew Dorman (bass), Zachary Ghaderi (drums), Joshua Merrell (guitar) and Matthew Rougeux (guitar) are the four members of Smallers. The band formed in 2014 and recently released a three-song EP entitled Initial.
The band describes the music as progressive instrumental rock. Truth be told if you grew up on bands from the ’70s and ’80s this doesn’t sound like what you are thinking. Prog rock back in those days were bands like Rush, Yes and King Crimson. Smallers couldn't sound further away than any of those bands. Smallers for comparison sake share aesthetic qualities to a band like Real Estate minus the vocals. I have to admit I thought vocals would work well with the music especially when there was no lead. That being said the band comes up with enough transitions to keep your interest.
The band does do a good job creating a seamless EP that does form a foundation for the band. Bands this early in their development usually have a lot of trouble with this aspect but Smallers seem to be on the right track.
The aesthetic similarities to Real Estate are noticeable right away on the opener “Pipe Dream.” Like Real Estate the band utilizes clean guitar with a similar type of reverb. It’s not only that but the picking patterns and transitions that feel familiar. At this stage I don’t think this is adverse but the band should be cognizant of the similarities which are undeniable.
Next up is “What For” which has the same vibe as the first song. Light yet nostalgic and often very serene. It’s lack of dissonance is easy on the ears and is the type of music that goes down easy upon the first listen.
They close with “Initial” which is another solid song. It's the most dynamic song and has hints of a band like Explosions In The Sky at points.
It’s obvious that Smallers is a band that cares about the details. I tend to really appreciate this when listening to music. It requires more active listening but it is often more rewarding. Smallers is a band to keep your eyes on.
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