The Sound of Curves – Gone Gatsby
The third recording from San Antonio based four piece The Sound of Curves, Gone Gatsby, is a mammoth fourteen song release reflecting their musical development since the band first formed in 2009. Many will argue that fourteen songs is entirely too long and the album must be weighed down with filler. This isn’t the case with Gone Gatsby. Gone Gatsby’s lengthy running time and its assortment of approaches clearly shows an ambitious band at work and aiming to make some sort of substantive statement about their intentions from this point forward. The Sound of Curves doesn’t simply want to be just another good band on the scene. Instead, their wide ranging attempt to record an indelible recording is a band reaching for posterity and making significant strides in that direction. This band means business and every listener will be grateful for going along for the ride.
The first song “Galaxy” has some interesting rhythms in its opening passages thanks to the band’s inventive use of keyboards and percussion, but soon settles into a much more traditional pattern as the song progresses. The song shows, however, they’ve successfully managed to integrate two different aesthetics into something greater. The second track “Hummingbird” is much closer to customary alternative rock without any of the added color heard on the opener. The guitar work veers from cinematic peaks that sound like an amassed six string army into much subtler, quiet, and clearly rendered passages that provide the necessary balance. It’s a typical move from the band and the material would ultimately go nowhere without those latter shifts in mood. The title track is obviously written to be one of the marquee moments on this release and it doesn’t disappoint. Much of the composition carries the same distinctive traits common to the band’s material, but they spike it with some canny variations and it’s one of the most obvious crowd pleasers on the release.
“Disco” has the sound of a band with their parachute cut. The guitars give the feel of tumbling head over feet, freefalling through the air, but it isn’t indicative of a band failing to hit their marks. Instead, it is quite artfully done. There’s little here resembling any sort of disco beat or tempo, but a close listen to the lyrics reveals what’s going on here. The melodic content of “Josephine” covers a wide gamut. The opening of the song introduces listeners to the central melody and its exquisitely played without much accompaniment before soon spinning into a full on aural assault. It’s one of the album’s instantly identifiable numbers and a moment that genuinely sets The Sound of Curves apart from their peers. The thumping drums kicking off “Crawl” are the first salvo on one of the album’s more rollicking numbers and the body of the song retains that same airy energy. The bright guitar attack customarily heard on the band’s material is held back on “Tennessee” until nearly the end. The first half of the song is one of the album’s strong invocations of the band’s theatrical side. It never risks self indulgence and the concluding section brings everything around to the band’s core strengths. Gone Gatsby isn’t without flaws, but it ranks as The Sound of Curves’ most substantive achievement.
8 out of 10 stars