Brooklyn indie band The Epochs might be to rock critics what Jessica Biel is to preteen boys: a wet dream.
Brothers Ryan (keyboardist) and Hays (guitarist) Halladay, joined by drummer Kotchy and bassist Kevin Smith, lead the New York quartet to create a self-titled debut LP featuring an incredibly pleasant blend of translucent electronica and soulful pop.
The Epochs is filled such diverse, yet consistent tunes that you wonder how much creativity could be bottled up before exploding. But the foursome stays stylistically reserved, only releasing their energy in a few well-planned short bursts. Whether it be about trying to proclaim your love in “Love Complete” (“I keep quiet, I keep quiet / I just waste my time away / I’m here for you, baby”) or trying to reminisce about the good times in “Picture Of The Sun” (“Cause we had sunlight all night long”), the band’s pulse never gets beyond critical.
Composition is the band’s main strength. There are only four instruments between them, yet they are able to make more with less and mask breadth with simplicity. The separate bits in “Opposite Sides” are basic, yet when brought together fill a room like sweet perfume. “Giving Tree” gives off the same feeling and its strong electronic accompaniment reminds of The Postal Service. But those two tracks differ from the rest of the album, which relies more on vocals to tell the whole story.
Much of the album remains on steady irons, even though it starts off on an unusual string. The opening “Thunder And Lightning” has a rebellious edge that rattles but gets cut off almost as quickly as it began. Although some might conclude that it reemerges toward the album’s latter half. “Mouths To Feed” could be mistaken for a bit of antipathy, but instead links to the funky attitude of “Stand Up & Be Counted” which acts more like a chill pill instead of a knife.
With a smoother R&B sound than Maroon 5 and a less complicated electronic styling than TV On The Radio, The Epochs have made a remarkably mature album that doesn’t swing from branch to branch as other debuts do. One definition of epoch is a particular period of history, so I’m assuming the boys from Brooklyn are announcing themselves to be the start of a new musical era. If it’s true, I don’t mind the arrogance as long as they keep making music like this.
Click here to download the Epochs Remix EP, featuring remixes of “Opposite Sides”, “Head In The Fire”, “Giving Tree”, and the new track “Collision — The Death Set”.
- 1. Thunder & Lightning
2. Opposite Sides
3. Love Complete
4. Mister Fog
5. Picture Of The Sun
6. Head In The Fire
7. Mouths To Feed
8. Stand Up And Be Counted
9. Tug Of War
10. Right On
11. Giving Tree