For Fans Of
So Transit Gloria have a few things going for them. They’re a young band with the advantage of having brimming youth and somewhat confident beginnings. They take casual pop-rock sensibilities of say Short Stack (briefly shudders and quickly prays for forgiveness), merge it with the subtle and nuanced tone of bands the like Young Lions and couple it with the catchy anthemic rock approach of internationals like Sleeping With Sirens. They also feature the now former Set The Score singer, Michael Romeo, on vocals, and whom now also plays guitar. They have a solid new EP out, and they seem to have gotten their name from a Brand New song.
Well, regardless of the orientation of their name, ‘Expectations’ is the first step out of the door for the Melbourne four-piece, and it’s a mid-tempo, nuanced and dynamic pop-rock affair. The songs usually start off in a very minimal and dynamic manner, before building up and reaching full climax, until they fade away to typically start the process all over again. These songs love to rise and fall in a consistent, fluctuating way, and there’s nothing wrong with that, it’s just that at almost five minutes long each, the process does get a bit old.
The title track is up first and while this EP may not have had any expectations or hype surrounding it, it will more than likely generate buzz for any future releases the band may have due to its quality. It’s a snowballing track that carries a lot of scope and atmosphere to its guitar melodies and choruses that you forget these guys are a small time Melbourne band and not a mammoth touring rock band in the vein of 30 Seconds To Mars. It’s a great first start for the EP, but it’s overshadowed by its two proceeding cousins.
First is ‘Blood Face’, which is a nice and ever so slight mash up of a few different styles. It begins in a slow, quiet manner with clean guitars and ethereal like vocals, and you may think it’s heading for a minimal indie-rock vibe, and then it gets a bit reggae with short, stabbing guitars and a head-bobbing half-time feel, before launching into a stadium sized rock chorus. Once that’s over, the band repeats the structure, and while the track probably should have been shorter, it’s easily one of the better songs on offer. The second big standout is ‘Daydreams’. This one feels like a laid back ode to bands like The Gaslight Anthem with its slower, bluesy feel, and that’s especially notable in the guitars and slow, yearning lyrics. Furthermore, Romeo really opens up his vocal range and it’s a solid performance all round. Another standout for sure.
‘Tall Tales’ is definitely the poppier, pop-rock track that’d you hear on Triple J or in the day time on Channel [V] like an Echosmith or Short Stack song (briefly shudders and quickly prays for forgiveness again), which isn’t really a big criticism per se, as it is nice to have a break from the repeated structures of the first three songs. It’s even got a xylophone in it at one point – very rock n’ roll indeed! The last track, ‘RIP Todd‘, is a more melancholic, more emotional and more haunting track than the rest of the EP. But the band don’t get all mopey, and instead keep the tone uplifting and the instrumentation warm and inviting, which is done to a great effect.
Of course, as an EP, it’s short and to the point, and while it’s not a revolution by any means, it’s still good and at the end of the day, you can’t really argue with solid quality like this. Well, you can if you’re a dick. Don’t be a dick.
‘Expectations’ is a surprisingly solid debut release from a band that’s been plagued by setback after setback. They’ve taken the melodic and subtle instrumental style of Young Lions with strong, chorus driven songs, much like those of Sleeping With Sirens, and put a fresh spin on it all. That’s not an easy thing to do in this day and age. Here’s hoping that Michael Romeo doesn’t up and leave like after the last band he was in dropped a sick new EP (that’s Set The Score for those unaware). Well, in any case, make sure you grab ‘Expectations’ from here before they run out of free downloads.
2. Blood Face
4. Tall Tales
5. RIR Todd