Indie, Alternative, Post rock
Death Cab For Cutie, mewithoutyou, Bo Bud Greene
Choirs are an Indie/alternative rock band from Bakersfield, California that formed in 2010. The band has been very busy, releasing three albums in five years. Usalkt, their third release is a comforting and distinct blend of Indie rock with strong elements of post-rock. What is interesting is they somehow are able to create a self-made, independent sound with good production which lets the post-rock compositions shine through. Vocalist Joel Brewer brings a raw, down-to-earth style of singing to the band. His vocals remind us of a blend between Aaron Weiss of mewithoutyou, Benjamin Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie fame and Anderson Bracht of the very obscure indie punk band Bo Bud Greene. This seven track album brings back an early 2000s feel of alternative rock while at the same time offering some fresh ideas, bringing needed variety within the world of indie rock.
Joel Brewer - vocals
Dax Dominguez - guitar
Mike Aguilar - bass
Cass Faulkenberry - drums
Tyler Slayton - guitar (exited the band, replaced by Justin Martin)
1. Empathy-altruism 5:30
2. By Our Current Standards... 3:53
3. Superegoid 4:13
4. Just Breathe 5:29
5. Vestige 5:13
6. The Loneliest Child 3:39
7. B.I.T.T. 6:55
The first track kicks off the album in a strong manner, providing a glimpse into the bands’ style, giving the listener an urge to carry on. This song somewhat resembles a Death Cab For Cutie vibe as the musicianship is very clean and well-structured. It has a soft, yet multifaceted demeanor which will hold your attention. Track two, “By Our Current Standards” is a nice fluent song as the vocals inject the album with an edge, especially during the latter part of the song. “Superegoid,” one of the standout songs takes this edge a step further; it is very lively with strong vocals. Being just three songs in, that late 90s or early 2000s alternative rock side to them is evident, which is something you don’t hear much anymore.
Next up is “Just Breathe,” and the soft, shoegaze guitar style in the beginning is sure to lure you in. The song balances handsomely between soft indie rock compositions and mellow post-rock, it’s quite a unique blend of styles. Track five “Vesige” showcases some fine dual guitar work, at times the guitarists are in synch than on a flip of a dime they drift apart creating a multilayered sound. The second to last track, “The Loneliest Child” offers up some good hooks that stick with you and the final cut “B.I.T.T.” is a bit more open-ended than the other tracks, it’s a nice song to bring the album to a close.
Choirs are a good band to seek out if you’re looking for something a bit different in the indie rock genre. The musicianship is impressive and the vocals are distinct enough to have us coming back for more. Also, if this is something that strikes a chord with you, check out their previous albums as well. - 3/4/2015
Standout Tracks: By Our Current Standards, Superegoid, Vesige