MONDAY, APRIL 20, 2009 |
Somewhere in between Americana and alt-rock, Eulogies stands as a reminder that rock music can still be nothing but guitars, drums, bass and the occasional tambourine. We tend to forget Los Angeles has more to offer than sunshine twee and progressive noise bands. Luckily Eulogies has their "Eyes On The Prize" with Here Anonymous (Dangerbird Records), an unabashed collection of self-reflective dream-rock.
Anonymity doesn't seem like the most apt comparison for lead singer Peter Walker's deceptively inviting voice. Lyrics like "I'll turn my life around" seem to suggest an attempted intimacy, one that directly clashes with the disconnect between listener and artist based on the album title. A eulogy is, after all, a speech remembering a lost connection. However, at their best, Eulogies transcend all of the semantics to sound vaguely like Kings Of Leon; fiery, blistering, full of raw rock emotion, and very much in touch with their audience. "Dark Place" is the best and most ambitious example of this, letting the guitars and distortion rip loose with minimal lyrical patter. The song's only pratfall is that it's too short.
The rest of the album chugs along with slightly less fervor, but is no less introspective. "I can't remember what to think/so comes my mind out of my mouth/here it comes, here it comes" croons Walker on "This Fine Progression," which also applies to the record at hand...it progresses just fine. The pacing seems cool and collected; the band takes their sweet time dwelling in the clouds on what often feels like a drizzle filled day. Tracks like "Two Can Play" are walking tunes, the kind of background music behind a trip to the grocery store or rummaging through the woods, lost in thought.
The strengths of Anonymous lay in the layers; when they do it, Eulogies knows how to build and release. Right off the bat, "Day To Day" does well with drum patterns building up the second round of the chorus. The end "This Fine Progression" works because of the contrasting rhythmic play between guitar, drum and bass. It's little moments like this that deserve the most attention.
The dark name and connotation of these rockers would suggest that most of the record should be brooding, however, it feels more reflective then self-loathing. Here Anonymous is more about asking questions than grabbing for Kleenex, and is worth a listen for indie rockers who like optimistic, wistful tunes. -Joe Puglisi