1. High Hopes
2. Harry’s Place
3. American Skin (41 Shots)
4. Just Like Fire Would
5. Down In The Hole
6. Heaven’s Wall
7. Frankie Fell In Love
8. This Is Your Sword
9. Hunter Of Invisible Game
10. The Ghost of Tom Joad
12. Dream Baby Dream
What genre of music do you consider yourself to be a part of?
I don’t think about that too much. If you put a gun to my head, I’d say alternative. The only thing that really matters to me is that what’s coming out is a true representation of what’s inside. My stuff flirts with pop a little, but also keeps a good distance from resembling modern pop, which I don’t dig very much.
Who would you compare yourself too?
Is there anyone who has inspired you during your career?
Obviously all of the above, but moreso I tend to draw inspiration from what I feel on the inside – feelings that spring from observations of the world around me, experiences in that world and relationships with the people in that world.
You released your solo – live album “ Listen Close Live” earlier this year. Why did you choose to do a live album? How does it compare to a studio album?
It had been a long time coming. I can’t put my finger on it, but something happens when I’m out in front of a live crowd that is hard to replicate in a studio. There’s always been this disconnect for me, and I’ve known for a while that a live record was something I wanted to do to bridge that gap. It’s nice to let the songs stand there naked and be confident that they’re good just the way they were written.
What is your favorite song to sing live?
I tend to like the ones that are higher energy, songs like Fuck Up, Her, This Cigar, stuff I can really let loose on.
Has anything changed since the release of the album?
It was an important step for me before moving on to working on new songs, finally getting versions of songs out that I feel good about. I needed to close the book on some of those songs.
Is there anything new you can share with us? Either a possible new studio album or EP?
We’re getting close to that point very quickly.
You are only 24 years old; does this have any affect on you in the music industry?
Not for me. My aim is to just write better songs and play my instruments better, and deliver better albums for myself and my fans. What has more impact is that I’ve been in and around the music industry at the highest levels for 6 years now, so I know what’s up and there’s not much that I don’t see coming now. I really feel comfortable navigating it, and in my ability to get the most out of it.
What are your plans for the rest of the year and the beginning of 2014?
Write, write, write, play, play, play. I’m constantly making new stuff and recording new stuff, and breaking it apart and putting it back together. This is the deepest I’ve dove into the pre-studio process, I wanna make sure I’m all the way there before we roll the tape.
Finally, is there anything that you would like to say to our readers?
That’s why I make albums.
“The album searches for the lost “wild country”: a land that, like all wild things, is both beautiful and dangerous.”
With harmonica stylings and overdrive distortion hooks the songs are reminiscent of the rock and roll giants like Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty. The album was produced by Bill Moriarty (Dr. Dog) at Waking Studios in Philadelphia and mastered by Brian Lucey (The Black Keys) at Magic Garden Mastering. You can stream and download the album from their Bandcamp Page and for more information you can go to their Facebook Page and website. Tell us what you think in the comments below!
Released: February 22, 2011
The Gallery is a band on the rise. Having built grassroots bases in their New England home and later in Florida, they embarked on a national tour in 2009 and have been more recently performing with bands such as The Maine and We the Kings. After a few spins of their EP Come Alive, you’ll see that this brewing rise is well-deserved and you may just be inclined to hop on the bandwagon before there even is a bandwagon.
Just a few seconds into opener “Catalyst”, listeners will likely catch one reason for the band’s increasing popularity: it’s not difficult when your biggest musical influences are already well-established within mainstream and indie circles. In a nutshell, they’re Bruce Springsteen without the synths and saxes, The Hold Steadywith fewer keys and less of a bar-rock sound.
Getting through the rest of the song, listeners will see another reason: “Catalyst” is really good, perhaps even too good. Catchy hooks are a dime a dozen these days, but songs that combine these hooks with such simple, earnest lyrics are harder to come by. It’s true that there are no deep insights, but lines like “This is a walk away / from those dirty little games you played. / I heard your sorrys, but I saw no change. / I gave you love, you gave me pain,” when backed by such honest music and Brendan Cooney’s hometown vocals packs a solid punch. It almost makes the rest of the EP struggle slightly to keep up in comparison, but it gives a valiant effort.
“Ballroom of Broken Hearts” slows down the tempo, but maintains the EP’s pace. Vocally and lyrically, it leans more heavily on The Boss than any other track, telling the tale of a girl “unlucky in lust.” It showcases their mature musicianship by effectively stripping down the first chorus, but doesn’t rely on it for the other choruses, instead adopting a fuller sound becoming less wistful, adapting to the entire song’s structural buildup. It’s less likely to be heard on the radio than “Catalyst”, but it is nonetheless good enough to prove that “Catalyst” wasn’t a fluke.
Tackling a different lyrical theme is “Who’s in the Right”. On one level about a fighting couple, it undeniably speaks to our country’s bigger conflicts as well with the simple observation “We’ll drop bombs all day and night/ to show who’s in the wrong and who’s in the right.” Even though it’s an anti-war song to some extent, it doesn’t fall on the trite clichés that today’s bands loved during the Bush era (i.e. no mention of a “gas war” or “fighting daddy’s battles”). Sincerity abound, it even feels close to The Avett Brothers. Unfortunately, the lyrics are stronger than the music, which relies too much on a bland guitar line.
The lightness of “Last Goodbye” serves as an excellent counter to the heaviness of its preceding track. The drum driven pre-chorus and explosive chorus are certainly engaging, but clocking in at close to five minutes, it runs slightly long.
Rounding out the EP is “Free,” which is actually a bit of a letdown. For once, the music feels too generic and the lyrics are excessively sappy. Though not a terrible song, it’s certainly a disappointment when compared to everything else before it. Not the best end, but it doesn’t detract too much from the quality of the EP on the whole. It’s not the deepest music you’ve ever heard, but it’s a solid effort by a band that you should make a point to know.
Standout Tracks: “Catalyst” and “Ballroom of Broken Hearts”
“Peg O’ My Heart” was written by Alfred Bryan and Fred Fisher and featured in the 1913 musical Ziegfeld Follies. The song was originally performed by Max Harris and his Novelty Trio (based on a version by The Harmonicats).
Going Out In Style will be The Dropkick Murphys’ seventh studio album, scheduled for release on February 28.