I’ll be honest, I was hesitant to review this record when the opportunity presented itself. It had nothing to do with what I predicted the quality would be, or that I’m friends with the band members, but because I am such a big fan of the previous music project from two of the members, Delta!Bravo. After I heard them live one night at a basement party, I pretty much made them become my friends, like a stalkers dream come true. Knowing that what I would be putting in my ears wasn’t that, and that no matter how objective I’d like to think I was being, in the back of my mind I would be comparing whatever I heard to their previous work. Luckily, after only hearing a few bars of Learn To Speak, I knew that this was an entirely different animal, making this so much easier. Search/Party is made up of Joss Rose (Base/Vocals), Brad Rooks (Guitar/Vocals), and Nick Taylor (Drums/Vocals).
Starting with the first track, We’ve Got Dodson Here (Nobody Cares), it is instantly clear that to compare Search/Party to Delta!Bravo would be like comparing The Avengers to The X-Men. Both are great superhero teams, but with entirely different tones and themes. The record instantly gets your head moving to the bass until the lead guitar starts letting you know that it’s okay to dance. The kind of dancing you do when you know nobody is watching. The kind that’s honest and content.
The next track, You’re Likely To Be Eaten By A Grue, slows it down a bit. Lyrically it’s more solemn and reassuring like a hug on a bad day. The song suggests a level of introspection on not just theme, but song structure in general. Where the first song is letting it all hang out, this song is more reserved. At first listen it seems the simplest song of the four tracks, but on closer examination it is rhythmically complex with the guitar seemingly telling its own song in conjunction with the rest of the parts. Its slow tempo sets a mood somewhat haunting and hollow.
The third track, Better Is Always Better, picks up the spirits in what is easily the happiest of the selections. Everything from the lyrics to the music screams a love of life. I found myself dancing in my seat, tapping my foot like an old man listening to the classics. There’s something to be said about songs that make you want to go outside and enjoy the day, and this song says it all.
The final song, Grigsby To Secret Mountain Base, closes out the EP on a thoughtful note. It has the most variations of any of the tracks. The slow verses build nicely into a chorus worthy of singing along to. The breakdown has a guitar riff that echoes lightly in the background with layered vocals showing the complexity the band is capable of delivering, all while maintaining a subtlety showing restraint.
I often feel the word “mature” is thrown around too liberally in regards to progressive sounding records, but in this case, it applies nicely. Where Delta!Bravo was the eager kid looking to show the world how smart he is, Search/Party is shaping up to be the wise sage leading you on your life quest. Both are great, but are representative of different places in a person’s life. This is an excellent record leaving me eagerly waiting for a full album. Learn To Speak is available now.
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