ABANDONED POOLS - THE REVERB EP


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Album:The Reverb EP
Artist:Abandoned Pools
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Going into this review, I hadn't heard much about Abandoned Pools, but the fact the EP was produced by Gareth Jones (Depeche Mode, Interpol) I was excited to give it a listen. Only after doing my journalistic background check did I find out lead singer & songwriter Tommy Walter was no fresh fish to the music game. He was a founding member of the Eels and the Abandoned Pools 2001 release,Humanistic had a song on Clone High (which, for those who haven’t actually seen it, is gold) and sold 100K.

Well fast forward to now, and put AP on Universal records and you know as much about the band as I do. The Reverb EP shows promise. The opening track, Armed to the Teeth, has some crunchy guitars. It's a solid rocker to open up, but the lyrics seem a little weak for me. Too many clichés (giants of industry, SUVs, puzzle piece that won’t fit in) about materialism take away from the solid riff. Songs about social issues are always tough, and although I’d rather hear someone sing about something meaningful, this time the lyrics just don’t live up to the music. The second track, Sooner or Later, sounds a little bit like R.E.M. to me, which can be good or bad – and in this case, is both. The nice, instrumental fadeout will make a good closing track for this album, or an episode of the OC.

At this point, you might be thinking – this is a 5 song EP, and already we have two tracks that don’t stand out, why keep going? Well, the next track will peak your interest in a hurry. The guitar heavy cover of Bjork’s Cover of Me is fantastic. The band puts their spin on an already great track. Take out the synths from her version, throw in some heavy licks and you are in for a treat. Perhaps the best way to describe this – said without sarcasm – is picture the music in some action movie staring Wesley Snipes, Van Wilder and thrown in some vampires (Blade 4 – I’m looking at you).

Up next is Catalyst. This song is another poppy punk track, with just enough melody and edge to make it a successful radio track. Tommy opens up and this lost love song (in my opinion) is the strongest original on the EP. The last song is the demo of Waiting for Me. From what I can tell, this track will not be on the album, which is a shame. It also makes me wonder how good the rest of the album is going to be. This song is the catchiest on the EP, with a nice bouncy bass line, that matches Tommy’s vocals perfectly.

Considering I had almost no knowledge of this band, and didn't know what to expect, I was pretty happy with the EP. Winning an audience with an EP is never easy, but this collection of songs makes me want to hear the full album.


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