As soon as I heard the vocals on the new album Kind Words For Cruel Times by The Reverse I knew I would like it. The lead singer has an English accent and reminded of Jarvis Cocker from Pulp. Since Cocker is one of the best vocalists in history I didn't have a probably with this. The vocals are a key ingredient to The Reverse’s success but it is far from the only factor that makes this band work.
After listening to this album you appreciate how these guys work as a unit. No one in the band is ever trying to fit too much in. The guitars are creative throughout and fit like a glove around the drums and bass. Perhaps the most impressive component to their songs is their use of background vocals. They have a knack for using it in just the right places and also with just the right amount of reverb. Another thing that should be noted is that the production sounds stellar. The guitars have a distinct tone that changes with each song to fit the mood.
The album starts with “Encore” which initially sounds like an encore. You hear a crowd in the distance and hum of an organ that eventually subsides for a jangly guitar progression; a little more than a minute in the band is in full force with a beautifully constructed pop song that’s incredibly catchy. The vocals are addictively delightful but that creative guitar work throughout is the cherry on top. They slow things down a bit for “Then They Came For Us,” which works even better as it allows them to have more of an emotional impact. This song also has one of the best if not the best vocal performance on the album. The vocalist’s riffs on the verse is talking about economic insecurity but when the chorus hits and they cover his vocals in a sheen reverb it brings it all home. Cocker’s vocals are lush, warm and hardly strained as his delivery is just about perfect. ”Mary” is a dose of pure pop and is immediately addictive when you hear the guitar progression. The song pops with a carefree vibe that makes the song that much more enjoyable.
The Reverse has been together for a while and if you didn't know it already they have previously released three EP’s. I’m happy to report that their full length is well worth the wait and will not disappoint. It’s a treat when you hear a band that works so well together release an album. You can tell that they put time and effort into each one of their parts to improve the foundation of the song. This attentive attention to detail creates ebbs and flows that make the album feel like a journey.
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