The Midwestern based quintet Un5gettable isn’t out to impress listeners with poetic meditations on the nature of life, odes to the pleasures of chasing women, or protest songs on economic inequality. These five performing veterans aim to tickle your funny bone with their wry, winking mockery of boy bands and sturdy songwriting driven by solid musicianship. It might seem like a modest goal perhaps, but it doesn’t signal that this outfit is strictly fluff goes into the writing, recording, and performing of their latest single “Sorry”. There’s a great deal of skill applied to their framing of one man’s mishaps with his significant other, her mother, and a gaggle of ensuing ramifications. It is, by nature, a little silly but never so much that it will challenge listener’s patience.
The key relationship in the band, insofar as it facilitated its formation, is between childhood friends Joe Cameron and Kyle Cothern. Third member Brendan Hawkins met Cothern in high school and their later forays into community theater rounded out the band’s lineup with the addition of Ryan Richards and Zach Harris. The band’s primary songwriter is Cameron and he exhibits here, as on the band’s earlier efforts, a fine sense for mixing the everyday and absurd for comedic effect. Cothern’s musical talents were recognized from an early age and he’s clearly Cameron’s main creative partner in Un5gettable or, at least, on this particular track.
The band’s vocal harmonies are immaculately arranged. There’s a smooth, seamless unity to their sound that, even if the band were dealing with the direst of material, their pleasing presentation would undoubtedly make it much more palatable. None of the singers show even the slightest tendency for showing off or wasting time with virtuoso trips – instead, they focus on communicating and dramatizing the song’s narrative. They succeed. Un5gettable keeps the music lean and spartan – guitar and piano drive the song instrumentally and prove more than enough to strengthen the vocal melodies. The piano playing, in particularly, spins winding melodies in counterpoint to the vocals that gives the song perhaps surprising musical merit.
Un5gettable crafts some solid lyrics for “Sorry” as well. Peering past the genuine humor in the song, songwriter Cameron wastes few words and it helps empathize the comedy elements while still providing the singers with possibilities for theatrical phrasing. Make no mistake that Un5gettable turns in quite an emotive performance – each turn in fortune is given a discernible shift in their approach.
“Sorry” hits all of its marks and will likely impress many as a supremely confident and musically worthwhile bit of parody. Unlike some slapped together one joke novelty song, “Sorry” demonstrates solid songwriting chops in its construction and aforementioned melodic appeal. Un5gettable will unlikely herald any new musical revolutions or be arriving at a stadium near you, but this is a band with an underestimated capacity for entertainment and skill to burn.