In late 2014 Martin Garcia, Barrett Zablo, Dan Quinn and Songgil Amaral started The Boards. The band released their self-titled EP The Boards a couple of months back and it showcases a band in their embryonic stage trying to find their own sound.
Their EP is about demo quality and at some point they are going to have a more polished product if they hope to reach a large audience. The drums are extremely soft and thin, the vocals are sometimes too loud and there are other issues. That being said the songs occasionally shine through. The easiest way to describe the band is comparing them to The Strokes but with less energy. Some of this is due to recording quality and some of it is simply how the songs are written. The lead singer sounds like an alternative of Julian Casablancas at times with a very similar inflection and singing style.
The band opens with “Oldie.” Take the song “My Girl” and mix it with The Strokes and that's pretty much what you have. It’s a catchy song although the band isn’t always in the pocket. The beat gets behind and ahead and the chords are strummed a second too early or late at times.
The band is tighter on the second song “SPW.” I have to say the song was begging for beefed up drums, especially the kick drum. Everything else sounded decent and the song was pretty well written. Besides the vocal harmonies “Painkiller (Steady On)” sounds like a B-side from The Strokes while “Feeling Tough” was probably the highlight. I was listening to “Feeling Tough” and trying to figure out if it was a different lead singer. The vocals sound noticeably different on this song.
Truth be told The Boards is going to have to distance themselves from sounding like The Strokes if they want to grow a larger audience. For whatever reason a lot of bands sound like The Strokes and it reminds me of when every other indie band sounded like Nirvana in the ‘90s. Bands that sound similar to another band will always be compared and I have never seen a case where the original sound is improved upon.
The Boards is ultimately a case of wait and see. There are some inspired moments here and there but they will need to do some revamping and tweaking before they can compete with the cream of the crop today.
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