CHANGES NEAR - The Quarter After (the committee to keep music evil)
On their self titled 2005 debut, the Quarter After displayed a focused and polished songwriting approach. For a glorious first release, it was a glimpse of what the band was a capable of but also created a sense of anticipation for the listener, eager to hear more from this Los Angeles band. The new release "Changes Near" satisfies that persistent craving for more from this band.
The Quarter After is closely aligned to the Brian Jonestown Massacre but plays a different breed of garage / psych pop from their contemporary brethren. Harder-edged, more in tune with the influential LA axis of Buffalo Springfield, The Byrds and Love, The Quarter After take these influences and coat them with a post-punk gloss. Add in beautiful melodies, layered six and 12-string guitars and a nice bass-drums-percussion section and you get an idea of the band's sound.
The first track "Sanctuary" combines all of the aforementioned elements and adds a nice orchestration feel through the use of mellotron. The song builds up tension at the two-minute mark, a bassline continues and then segues into a reflective part glistening with guitars and piano. The song heads back into the intro.
Chief songwriters Dominic and Robert Campanella use nice twists and turns in their approach towards music. "She Revolves" demonstrates the pair's love of bouncy 60's garage pop. The Rickenbacker riff combined with the Vox organ is inspired. Highly melodic, the song is topped off with a nice guitar solo. Equally contagious, tracks such as "See How Good It Feels" and "Early Morning Rider" revisit that period of time in music in the early to mid Eighties when bands like The Rain Parade, the Hoodoo Gurus and The Dream Syndicate reigned supreme.
Two songs that indicate that expansion of those ideas are "Winter Song" and "Sempre Avanti". The former being more of a psych - folk tune which displays more of the quiet side of the band. The latter song is a distortion/feedback, maracas, piano and pedal steel driven song. One strength of the band is their use of multi-instrumentation which adds depth to their sound.- Arthur S
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