Does being post-Thanksgiving mean we’re post-autumn? I’m sure the star charts have the answer, but I’m too busy not wearing white and listening to the latest offering from Root Glen to care.
Earlier this year, these New Jersey rockers released their first of a planned year’s worth of seasonal EPs, Summer. Now comes Fall, a collection that, from the first track, feels very different from their earlier work. Opening with the edgy, hard-hitting “Battle Cry,” Fall has a darker, tighter feel than anything I’ve heard before from Root Glen. Outside of Summer and a few miscellaneous demos and singles, I’ve known Root Glen as a live, dance-friendly act, and to my ears, Summer was a successful attempt at bringing that live feel into the studio. By contrast, Fall sounds like a concerted effort to prioritize songcraft, leaving the details of the inevitable live presentation of these tunes for a later day. This isn’t to say that fans won’t recognize this EP as Root Glen– David Moroney’s signature vocals and Andres Gonzales’ bass work ensure that they will– but Fall definitely is a new chapter for this band, and a welcome one. Of the five songs, only the second, “Detective Porn,” immediately registers as one of Root Glen’s familiar live jaunts.
The fourth cut, “Red Lines & Spinning Wheels,” is the best single song I’ve heard from this group. From the lead-in interplay between Gonzales and drummer Eric Blank, the chorus’ vocal harmonies, and the driving, confident guitar work by Ross Griswold, this song is a well-composed, well-executed ensemble effort.
The final number, “The Salty Pepper,” is a Griswold guitar workout that mixes textures and speeds and sets forth some of the best playing I’ve heard from him.
As with Summer, Fall is available for streaming or name-your-own-price purchasing at http://rootglen.bandcamp.com/album/root-glen-fall. Live dates and news of their work on their next seasonal EP are available at http://rootglen.com/blog.