I was reading about Taber and apparently their sort of re-invention of a band called The Disgruntled Sherpa Project. The band consists of Joe Boylan (guitars/piano/vocals), Walt Mamaluy (bass/vocals), Matt Jules Rhine (keys) and Wayne Lee (drums). Their recent release is called Hotel Codorus.
There are ten songs and they come in around forty minutes. The songs reminded me of ’90s indie rock that I grew up with, somewhere between Pavement, Guided By Voices and Yo La Tengo. Up first is “Worried” and I was a little startled. The band starts together and there is no kind of warm up. It’s a straightforward tune to me with a solid vocal melody and great groove.
The band rocks out a little harder with “Make You” which contains a catchy chorus while “Nobody Cares” is atmospheric, clean and rolls with organ and great beat. “All over and Sad” sort of sounds like the title. It reminded me of the band War on Drugs.
“Holding On” is a sweet and tender ballad. I thought “Looking Back Just to Shoot” had a great groove. I was really intrigued by the first five seconds of “Come Down” with the angelic sound design. The song is somber and reflective but also the arguable highlight in the batch.
The next song “Back Before You Know I’m Gone” is also great but provides a little more levity and warmth. I was reminded of The Beatles on this song. They are on a roll with “Who’s Gonna Love You Now?” which is a bit of a psychedelic swirl. The band closes with “Bull Moose” which is a loud rock song.
My only critique comes from the engineering. I noticed the RMS level wasn’t always consistent from song to song and the sonic imprint varied too much for my personal preference in some cases. This is where working with a professional mastering engineer will really help. I promise it is money well spent. That being said when looking at the songs individually the mixing was consistently good so kudos in that department. There was a raw but not too raw indie rock quality I think sounded right for these particular songs.
Overall, I would say this is a great album. The songwriting and performances were top notch. I also liked the emotional diversity. The sequencing really seemed to matter so I suggest listening to it from beginning to end.
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