Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Album Review: Roadside Graves - You Won't Be Happy With Me

On their new EP, You Won’t Be Happy With Me, Roadside Graves have reined in their scruffy, boozy sound and allowed strong songwriting and musicianship to shine through.

This new approach gives the band some room to breathe and grow. "Demons" opens with a lightly swirling piano and patiently adds the rhythm section and backing vocals. Just after two minutes into the song, the female backup vocals come in and bring the song to its fullest.

"Liv Tyler" sways slowly to begin before the bass drum propels the band to an energetic build. The coda of this epic seven minute track should entice many to get up and dance. "Everything" starts big and only gets bigger with the addition of an orchestra towards the end.

The softer side of the EP is gorgeous, particularly when Deb Disbrow takes over the lead vocals on the lullaby-like "Heart."

The lyrics on You Won’t Be Happy With Me are simple, but easily relatable. "We all have demons/ Rise up when we fall," sings lead singer John Gleason on "Demons." On "Liv Tyler" he sings "If we didn’t have to worry about money/ We’d be all right” and repeats it until it becomes a working class rallying cry.

There isn’t a bad track on this six-song EP. Roadside Graves have long since proven their worth as a New Jersey bar band and You Won’t Be Happy With Me shows that they can be much, much more.

Hear these songs and more live when Roadside Graves play with Tomahawks and Calico Haunts at The Nightlight in Chapel Hill on June 25.

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