Brothers Jake (guitar/vocals) and Ben Kiehl (drums) with Zack Stoudemayer (bass) are The Albatross. The band plays a mix of blues and rock that derives from the ’60s. You can’t help but think of The Beatles with a tad more distortion on some of these songs other self-titled album The Albatross. On paper The Albatross doesn’t sound that impressive because of how many countless bands try to emulate that sound. The truth is that they sound damn good. Between the production, delivery and solid songwriting this is a band that is easy to appreciate. The songs are impressive but other than mixing rock and blues these are pop. Across the album are catchy often memorable melodies that don’t take a whole lot of effort to enjoy.
They open with “Close The Door Behind You When You Leave My House” which has just enough of an off kilter groove that your foot starts tapping. Before a word is sung they launch into a guitar solo. You have to appreciate that in some way. As the song progresses it turns out there are no lyrics at all. All things considered i'm not sure this was the best pick for an opener but still was enjoyable.
They then launch into “Sweet Rosalita.” You can hear tinges of huge bands like Led Zeppelin and The Beatles. Jake Kiehl's singing is closer to McCartney than Robert Plant though. Next up is “Turn On The Light.” The song’s biggest strength are the vocal harmonies during the chorus. It’s a melody that can easily get stuck in your head. Speaking of Led Zeppelin some of the drum fills have to be inspired by Jon Bonham.
One of the highlights is “Make Up Your Mind” if for no other reason than it's ridiculously catchy. This song however goes back farther than the late ’60s. This is derived from the early era of The Beatles. “These Blues” is in fact a pretty straightforward blues song while “From Here To Eternity” has a more of a classic rock feel.
The band closes epically with “Sanding My Stick/Nowhere To Call Home.” They rock out, break it down and rock out again across the nine-plus-minutes.
Albatross is a band that wears it influences on its sleeve. That being said that is not a bad thing when you can pull it off. My only minor issue is the length of the album. At eleven songs with a nine-plus-minute song in there it can be a little bit arduous to take in the whole album in one sitting. Overall, I can give this album two thumbs up. Recommended.
We are dedicated to informing the public about the different types of independent music that is available for your listening pleasure as well as giving the artist a professional critique from a seasoned music geek. We critique a wide variety of niche genres like experimental, IDM, electronic, ambient, shoegaze and much more.
Are you one of our faithful visitors who enjoys our website? Like us on Facebook