The Banisters are an up-and-coming band that gradually transitioned from a singer-songwriter duo to a full-fledged five-member rock group. Combining talent from teachers, a ballerina and other musicians, The Banisters have landed upon a unique blend of ‘60s soul, ‘70s protopunk, and classic rock n’ roll in their debut self-titled EP The Banisters released in September 2016.
The album begins with “Smooth Talker” a danceable rock anthem that is introduced by a high energy, uptempo guitar riff with strong percussion serving as accompaniment. Several layers of guitars combine to form a complete, full soundscape over which melodic and slightly harsh vocals sing. The Banisters pull no punches in their album opener as unfettered vocals, screaming guitar solos and driving drums carry the song powerfully to its exciting conclusion.
“In the Lines” features many of the same elements of the first song, yet this track projects a brighter, more celebratory spirit through its crashing cymbals, vocal harmonies and extended instrumental sections. Through its familiar chord progressions, catchy lyrics and melodic tone, this anthem generates an inviting atmosphere for the listener, making this tune a definite highlight of the record.
The EP continues with “2 AM” a highly rhythmic piece that immediately hits the listener with a groovy beat and riff, a combination of sounds that repeats, varies and builds throughout the entire track. The reverb-laced vocals are central to the song’s structure, and they successfully hold the rest of the instruments together with ease. Although the song is based around minor chording patterns, the song itself portrays an upbeat vibe, a trait characteristic of The Banisters.
Coming to a slow, thoughtful ending, “Written in a Day” serves as the record’s closing song. A plodding, waltz-like beat supported by bluesy arpeggiated chords on guitar, dynamic percussion and emotive vocals. As the song progresses, the intensity increasingly crescendos until the very end, when a solitary organ fades out as the album comes to a close. As a whole, The Banisters EP is a surprisingly mature collection of songs that demonstrates to listeners the unique talent, skill, and musical vision of The Banisters, as well as their potential to continue their musical career with similar success.
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