Hailing from Albuquerque, New Mexico Jose Ortiz (lead vocals/rhythm guitar), Tyler De La O (lead guitar/backing vocals/synth), Nate Hewitt (bass/backing vocals) and Casey Frew (drums/ backing vocals) are Treehouse Basement.
The band released their first EP Nowhere Land and it showcases a rock band with proclivities to play jangly tunes, which veer towards groups like Franz Ferdinand, The Killers and The Strokes. Truth be told there are a lot of bands out there right now that have a similar sound and Treehouse Basement isn’t reinventing the wheel at this point but they do have some talent across the board.
There are plenty of slick guitar riffs throughout the six songs and I can’t complain about the singing either. It’s obvious even the first time that the band is on point and has an innate chemistry. As for the production and record quality it’s slightly above demo quality. This is music that begs for glossy, pristine production and it’s not quite there yet. Some of the highs are piercing and I was hoping for more separation between the instruments. All in all the songs still shine through but I hope they are able to get a boost for their next release.
The EP opens with upbeat and dance worthy “Acquiesce” which is arguably the highlight. I immediately noticed the copious amount of stellar guitar riffs. The riffs are played fast and with metronome like timing. It’s a catchy tune and I thought the breakdown around the two-minute mark was the most inventive aspect of the song. The band goes off in multiple directions and flexes their technical and creative skill.
“Banana People” is up there with the first track in terms of quality and felt more original. The band carves out a bit of a signature sound on this track. The next tracks “Sol y Luna” and “Painted Petals” were also solid tracks that were sewn from a similar cloth. “Stairwell” started strong but I can’t say I was a huge fan of the Sublime-esque vocals style on this song during the verse. The album closes strong with “Skeleton Man.”
Nowhere Land is a solid EP with minor mishaps here and there. I encourage the band to actively seek what separates them from other bands because the style they play is extremely ubiquitous right now. Successful bands will need more than just luck to find a large audience. The band should be well on the their way as they are off to a good start.
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