The Social Union is a band originally from Binghamton, NY who relocated to the newly crowned indie rock Mecca Brooklyn, NY. Their sound is conducive to that city and I'm sure they will feel right at home as they have an appealing 90’s alternative pop feel on their latest effort entitled Guessing Games.
Guessing Games is basically a two-man operation consisting of Jason Dirig who is a multi-instrumentalist and plays guitar, bass, piano, as well as provides the lead vocals. Jason Staniulis is the engineer of the band taking care of the recording, mixing and mastering while also taking on the powerful drum work. They have nine songs on this album that are easy to enjoy.Their songwriting is solid and they have a surplus of addictive guitar riffs for you to indulge in. The music isn't terribly original but it doesn't really matter. If you want a nice dose of indie rock than this is your ticket.
The rock/funk inspired “Another Way to Run” opens up the album with a powerful wave of guitar solos, a solid vocal melody and impressive drumming. It’s a nice introduction and a strong indication of what you can expect from the rest of the album. “All Your Faces” can’t help but be compared to A Death Cab for Cutie song, as the singer sounds similar to Ben Gibbard. The music also has a similar vibe but the rock a bit harder than A Death Cab for Cutie usually does.
One of the highlights on the album is “Spiders” which displays some of their diversity and is able to catch your attention without just distortion but creative guitar work throughout the song that doesn't make the listening experience stale. One of the most emotionally impactful songs on the album is “Love in Memory,” which for a good portion is just vocals, piano and guitar. Closing with the longest track on the album “Guessing Games” the song is bass driven song that encompasses some of their most endearing qualities including Dirig’s child-like voice, well-paced vocal harmonies and some more good guitar work.
There aren't many surprises on this album, which could be a good or bad thing depending on how you look at it. I for one enjoyed the album as they have a pop sensibility and don't stray too far from a very reliable formula.
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