2010, Rainbow Quartz Records
San Francisco has a history of turning out epic rock bands with distinctive sounds. The city has been a breeding ground of musical influences since the 1960’s and continues to produce an impressive crop of artists. The latest band to emerge from the Bay is The Parties, who take their influences from 1960’s bands such as The Who, Kinds and Velvet Underground, The High Dials and Teenage Fanclub. The Parties drop their latest album, Coast Garde, on November 2, 2010. They will playing material from their new album at the Rainbow Quartz CMJ showcase tonight at Local 269, located at 269 East Houston in New York City.
Coast Garde opens with “Let’s Call It Love”, a near-perfect example of pure 1960’s pop. The song features a wide-open arrangement, delicious melody and enveloping vocal harmonies. Vocalist Jeremy Powers has a solid, distinctive voice that speaks in low tones. He won’t blow you away but delivers solid, measured performances that work perfectly in the frame of music The Parties create. “Can’t Seem To Get My Mind Off Of You” is pure Crosby, Stills and Nash-style songwriting and harmonies. “The Target Smiles” is a solid tune; sounding like something the Beatles might have written in a country & western phase of their career had it lasted longer. “Leavin’ The Light On” is about the split that occurs when you get what you wish for but not what you want; it’s the catchiest song on the album and has an blend that sounds like something that might have come from a jam session between 54-40 and Wilco.
“Suite: Feet Back On The Ground/I’m Sorry/Going Away Girl” blends the sounds of Traffic and Crosby, Stills and Nash. The songwriting here is top notch, particular “Going Away Girl” which dances on the edge of utter pop brilliance. “Autumn Girl” slows things down with a country feel, juxtaposing a hopeful, bright vocal line against a melancholy arrangement. “Annie” and “Catastrophic Storm” are solid album tracks, setting the stage for “You Ruined Me”. “You Ruined Me” is the best pop song on the album. Sadness abounds in a Beatles-esque pop tune laced with country accents. This is an addictive tune, a real wow moment that could break out big for The Parties.
Rainbow Quartz has a number of bands reveling in the sounds of the 1960’s and doing it quite well. The cream of the crop is The Parties, who blend a mellifluous sense of melody with distinctive harmonies and a rare sort of pop sensibility that’s music gold. Coast Garde has its slow moments, but has several tunes that could be hits in almost any era if commercial radio were actually accessible. The Parties are not a band to take lightly; they’ll be around for awhile.
Rating: 4 Stars (Out of 5)
Learn more about The Parties at http://www.thepartiesrock.com/ or at Rainbow Quartz Records. Coast Garde drops on November 2, 2010. You can pre-order the CD from Amazon.com. Expect wider availability, including digital formats, upon release.