Thursday, May 24, 2012
The Gentle Stunts - Life-Size Deadbeats, A MUST LISTEN
Berlin's The Gentle Stunts are a band who I can completely identify with. Their new LP "Life-Size Deadbeats" doesn't beat around the bush. It gets right down to business with lean, beautifully recorded pop gems and rapid fires them straight into your brain.
Cal McNamara is a master of his craft. My favorite part of finding out about new music is coming across people who know exactly what they want to do, and then go and do the shit out of it! Cal is a recording artist. His "instrument" is the recording studio, and he assembles groups of friends and co-conspirators to aid in bringing his vision to the live format. On his newest LP "Life-Size Deadbeats" he explores song craft and recording technique with moving results.
Opener "A Past of Fast Lashings" kicks in without delay. A steady and crisp morning to the day of the album. It instantly grabs your ears and seeps in. This song, like so many on this album, changes so subtly and so often that it's impossible to get bored with it.
"Dont You Ever" is short and simple and I wouldn't want to hear this track any other way than it has been presented. The hook is beautiful and rough, just like the melody.
I simply can't get over the melodies in this album. "Figments in Red" is a clear stand out single. The vocal harmonies are killer and the beat is solid.
Cal's command of effects is exemplary on tracks like "Tall Retrieve", as is his clear love of complex composition. This is a wonderful track.
Even though tracks like "Till You're Often" are simple, they are still tremendous and powerful. Wonderfully recorded vocals and guitar that builds into a full band swell. Cal obviously spends plenty of time figuring what is the best sound for each of his songs, and the work paid off.
I love the blown out reverb on "Remind You", and Cal's guitar playing prowess shows up in the noodling awesomeness of "Sirens in the Stars".
This record has it all for someone like me: complicated lean songs, wonderful compelling melodies and harmonies, fantastic sequencing and it certainly doesn't hurt that it was mastered at Waterloo Sound Recording by Circus Devils mastermind Todd Tobias. He did an amazing job mastering The Inclined Plane's "The Backwards Frontier" released earlier this year, and he did an amazing job on this one too.
Do yourself a favor and download "Life-Size Deadbeats" for free at The Gentle Stunts Bandcamp. It is worth every second you spend listening to it.