Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Musica: A stunning debut by The Epochs

What: The Epochs debut LP "The Epochs"
When: Out on Feb. 19th, 2008
Related Sites: The Epochs Webpage, The Epochs MySpace, The Epochs Blog, Sneak Attack Media
Sounds like: Radiohead, Hot Chip, early Peter Gabriel, Crowded House, The Beatles, early Bruce Springsteen, Prefab Sprout, Prince, Carrie Underwood (hm, ok, I might be stretching it with that last one but if that's what it takes to make you buy it...)
It's been a while since I've been as blown away by a band I've just discovered (the last time I remember being this impressed was with Hot Chip's "The Warning") but - watch out folks! - The Epochs are here.

Or maybe I should say that The Epochs discovered me since I was graciously sent a copy of their debut CD a couple weeks ago and it's pretty much dominated my music listening hours ever since.

Rumors say that brothers Ryan and Hays Holladay have been toiling the midnight oil for years, passing demo tapes here and there and even releasing a 2003 EP (now selling for $199.98 on Amazon).

But that doesn't necessarily explain the poise, self-assuredness and maturity of this band in their debut album - even taking into account that they have since added bassist Kevin Smith and drummer Kotchy. I've listened it from start to finish, delving here and there, trying to find reasons not to be so taken by it, and it has just been a failing mission. So - WTF! I give in!

Things get off to a rockin' start with the apocalyptic "Thunder & Lighting" (cities will burn under the sun indeed!), which just serves as an appetizer for the stunning "Opposite Sides" - the best track on the album - which then bleeds into the album's 1st single "Love Complete" (video below):

And then it's just another bunch of great memorable tracks including "Moth to the Flame," "Right On," and "Giving Tree." A proper full album altogether from start to finish which few bands even attempt nowadays.

It's always tricky to compare any band to others because it might set up unfair or erroneous expectations but I doubt anyone will be disappointed by picking up this beauty. I'll just say that The Epochs are more dynamic and daring than any band I've heard in ages, with a sense of melody to match that of bands such as Crowded House (and that is saying a lot), and glittery synth stabs that make it so easy to compare them to Hot Chip even if I think they are actually better.

Then again, when the string section comes in or that piano line soars like no other, there's just no comparison as the warmth embraces you and you just go along with the ride.

If you need to sample some of the sweet, sweet sounds you can always explore The Epochs' MySpace page or hear the following tasty morsels:
Other reviews:
UPDATE: The Epochs, live at the Mercury Lounge (Feb. 12, 2008) - 6 videos in all, apologies for the sound distortion and fuzz (QRO Magazine review here):

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