Hailing from Auckland, New Zealand Tricks & Sleeves is a four-piece consisting of Karl Jacobsen (vocals, guitar), Gareth Van Niekerk (drums, vocals, keys), Aaron Jacobsen (bass, vocals) and Jesse Jacobsen (guitar, keys, vocals).
They just released their self-titled album Tricks & Sleeves. It contains twelve well-written songs that combine rock and a bit of folk. The album is well produced and the songs while not breaking any boundaries display a lot of creativity and chemistry between the band members. The vocal work is one of the biggest strengths of this album as the reverb laced guitars, drums, keys and bass often provide an atmospheric canvas for Karl Jacobsen. I also felt like the band did a good job sequencing the songs on the album. Twelve songs aren’t exactly a short journey but the pacing of the songs takes you through hills and valleys that present a pleasant path that hardly felt arduous.
The album kicks off with “In The Morning,” which combines a clean electric guitar, bass and vocal harmonies. There is a warmth that resonates from the vocal melody that brings a sense of serenity. The song picks up a bit more energy when the drums and synth enter the picture. It ends with a guitar solo and a repetitive vocal part that has a trance like quality. “Midnight Bus” rocks out a bit more than the first song and enjoyed the combination of horns and guitar. I couldn't tell if the horns were being played by a keyboard but either way it sounded good.
“Beacon Hill” is one of the highlights of the album. It begins with light guitar strumming and an organ as Jacobsen delivers one of his most inspired vocal performances. A little bit before the two-minute mark drums enter with shards of white noise from guitars adding more layers of sound. The lead guitar sounds as if it being played in a cavern as Jacobsen sings “It’s over now.”
“Press” is a simple, fun punk rock style song that contains infectious melodies while “October City” is another highlight that showcases the band's ability to write a catchy tune. The closer “Murmur” contains melancholy with a tinge of epic-ness. It is a nice way to close the album.
Tricks & Sleeves debut album is a solid effort with a number of songs that will make you take notice of their talent.
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