Straight Faces is a four-piece band comprised of Ben Boyd (bass), Jess Gibbard (rhythm guitar/vocals), Matthew Groeneveld (lead guitar) and Brett Rose (drums). They formed in 2012 and just released a self-titled EP Straight Faces that contains three songs.
They consider themselves an alternative rock and blues band that leans more towards the rock sounds. I couldn’t have said it better myself. The songs revolve around basic chord progressions, palatable vocal melodies and a lot of tropes you have heard in popular music. It’s not exactly the most original music to come out but tips its hat to a myriad of familiar sounding bands.
The recording quality is about that of a demo. There isn’t much definition in the guitars and the EP is begging to be properly mastered since each song is at a different volume.
The only element of the blues I was able to find was in the first song “Faces in the Sand” which lies somewhere between The White Stripes and a very straightforward alternative band. To be even more precise the band exercises a blues progression on the verse and the chorus revolves around power chords. During the verse the vocalist sings, “He likes to think he's running the show. He jokes like it's all under control. It's so easy to pick apart the lies. He's just a coward who's too afraid to fight.”
The band's best effort is “Imbalance” which sounds like a ‘90s alternative song you would hear on the radio from a band like 3 doors down or Matchbox 20. If the recording quality was exponentially better with stellar production and came out about 20 years ago this song could have been playing along with “Smooth.” They close with “The Man Who was Struck by Lightning” which is a basic rock song that was largely forgettable after it was over.
Just taking a look at their Bandcamp page it’s obvious the band in terms of age is young. As with a lot of bands around that same age they seem to be wearing their influences on their sleeves and quite haven't figured out what makes them stand out amongst thousands of other bands. The band has some talent but unless they find their niche they will most llikely be forced to play local bars and fade into obscurity.
My advice would be for the band to explore some other music and ditch listening to their influences for a while. That at the very least might be able to spark some inspiration that melds with the foundation they have now which could lead to a more original, memorable sound.
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