Hailing from Los Angeles The Acetates are a five-piece band consisting of Simon Elbaum, Oren Klein, Nick Wheaton, Brian Morales and Brian Cannady. On their recent self-titled EP The Acetates the band tips their hat to Americana roots music as well as rock n’ roll stemming from the ‘50s and ‘60s while at the same time injecting their own vibe and personality into their songs. To put it simply this is a “feel good” album. The five songs on this album have a warm, inviting aura about them that make them immediately accessible and attractive. Their music isn’t reinventing the wheel but it is well written and a nice throwback to pop music of a previous generation.
The band kicks off the album with a relatively short song called “Self-Portrait.” It starts with arguably the most technically and creative guitar riff on the EP. They form an infectious concoction of sounds that sound similar to Simon & Garfunkel and even bust out a very popular instrument from the ‘50s and ‘60s you may have heard of called the harmonica.
If this EP came out in 1952 Bobby and Susie may have been dancing to “Hey Sister!” along with “Teen Angel” when they went to their high school prom. The horns were a great addition to this song that solidified its nostalgic sentiment.
“Half 'n Half Blues” is reminiscent of more conventional songs by The Grateful Dead. The band delivers a memorable chorus when they sing, “This is life, so let it be / This is life, for you and me.” “Great Escape” features the band singing the chorus in tandem. It’s a bright, dare I say, triumphant song. They close with “Bearded Bums,” which contains the most nostalgia out of the five songs.
To get to the point The Acetates made a solid EP, which showcases their chemistry and talent. There are no duds on the EP although it felt like an appetizer and at points I wanted something meatier to bite into at points. I would have liked to hear the band let loose on a six-minute jam session but that’s just me. Anyway, this is a thoroughly enjoyable EP.
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