Michael Wheeler (vocals/guitar), Jake Van Brunt (guitar), Matt Grippo (bass), James Sullivan (guitar) and Sean Cuddy (drums) are The Welts. In 2015 the band released I Love You Grandma EP which showcased some potential.
They are back with Pretty Faces which is a step up in recording quality. The band still plays garage rock but the music sounds more much similar to The Strokes. As someone who has critiqued a lot of albums The Strokes is one of the most if not the most replicated band in the fifteen years. There is just no denying that.
To be blunt, the first song “The Basement” sounds like about five different songs you probably heard from The Strokes with the staples that make The Strokes The Strokes including the vocal utterances that you would associate with Julian Casablancas. Most notably the songs “Last Night” and “Soma” seem to be a direct influence.
The second song “Questions” barks up the same tree. It sounds almost exactly like a song you would hear from The Strokes but veers a little more towards their release Room on Fire. They close with “The Conqueror” which is the most original of the three.
The band is not going in the right direction if they hope to do this on a large scale. No matter how good they get they won’t do The Strokes better than The Strokes. In all honesty they should just mix in cover songs if they are going to sound this similar. The confusing thing about this release is that they had a more original sound on their first release I Love You Grandma EP.
I have been working with bands since the ’90’ and it's always better to find your unique, defined sound. That's the best advice I can give The Welts at this point if they want to build an audience with original music.
All this being said the band is talented in a number of areas. In fact I think their delivery has improved. They just need to focus their energy on finding their sound. The band is still very young and do again prove they have skills. I’m rooting for them and are hoping they can find the X-factor they need. Godspeed.
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