CD Review of Eulogies by Eulogies
Recommended if you like
The Flaming Lips, Built to Spill,
The Strokes
Dangerbird Records
Eulogies: Eulogies

Reviewed by Greg M. Schwartz

os Angeles trio Eulogies offer up an indie rock sound that straddles the line between retro, jam rock and a little shoegaze. The sound of lead single “One Man” is stripped down, but rocks in a crisp and straightforward manner, setting the tone for the album. The up-tempo “Suicide” crackles with energy from the start, though vocalist/guitarist Peter Walker attacks it in a relaxed manner somewhat reminiscent of the Strokes’ Julian Casablancas. Both tunes feature fuzzy guitar breaks that sound endearingly retro, yet fresh at the same time, while drummer Chris Reynolds and bassist Tim Hutton form a tight rhythm section.

The relaxed-yet-groovy sounds continue with “Under the Knife” and “Running in the Rain” -- both have steadily rocking back beats that Walker transforms into gliding grooves with his simple yet irresistibly catchy guitar lines and endearingly laid-back vocals. The bass-driven melody of “Under the Knife,” one of the freshest cuts of the year, gives the song an extra kick and it’s not hard to imagine the song transforming to a higher level in a live setting.

Slower tunes such as “If I Knew You,” “Can’t Relate,” “Little Davie” and “Big Eyes” have a darker, down-tempo vibe. Some will feel that the preponderance of ballads brings the album’s energy down just a little too often, while others will dig the way they generate a cinematic vibe that intrigues the ear, like a melodic mystery of sorts. “Useless Amends” straddles the line, starting out ballad-ish but transforming into swaying rock on the chorus.

Walker proclaims that the vibe of “Under the Knife” is the primary sound he’s going for, saying it “encapsulates the record for me in its simplicity and sounds.” This is promising for the band’s live show, though it makes the number of darker ballads on the album a little puzzling. But overall, there’s a compelling sound here that marks Eulogies as a potential breakout band.

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