Ottawa band Those Gulls are set to release their new album Forevermore on Ringbell Records December 18th. The band has been around for quite a while, as founding members Andrew Grosvenor and Peter Zachar began writing as a duo in 2007. Now that the band has grown in both size and sound, the five-piece is ready to launch the new record and demonstrate the evolution of their sound.
The album is captivating, and has highs and lows as one listens. There is no one “sound” on Forevermore – it is very much a blend of various influences and styles. For example, the album begins and ends with epic songs “In Between” and “After The Storm,” respectively. The reverb-laden instrumentals are grandiose, and allow the album to come full-circle upon listening. However, a strong point about this album is that the band wasn’t afraid to break free of the genre prison that many bands trap themselves in. Those Gulls clearly drew upon a variety of musical influences, and experimented with various sounds and arrangements. It also serves them well to have alternating male/female vocals shared between Grosvenor and Kate Schroder, as it allows for a back-and-forth dynamic to occur that keeps the listener engaged throughout. While the variations mentioned serve to strengthen the album overall, there are moments where it feels disjointed and slightly forced. Sometimes it can feel like a band tries too hard to cover all the soundscapes they want, which is why a lot of times certain songs get cut out of the final product.
While I wouldn’t go so far as to say Those Gulls overextended themselves with the sound, certain tracks such as “Tiger” and “Cliffside” seemed out of place. However, after a few listens and appreciating the intricate and delicate nature of the song “Tiger” in particular, I almost ended up thinking of them as an intermission on the album. While minimalism doesn’t always contrast well with boisterousness on the rest of a record, in this case I thought it ended up working well.
The album isn’t all dance, nor is it all rock or pop. Fans of The Naked and Famous or Joy Formidable will feel at home with Forevermore. What it lacks in consistency, it makes up for in audacity and intriguing composition. Anyone who is heading to their album release party at House of TARG on Thursday, December 18 will be in for a pretty wild night. It’s the kind of album that would definitely translate into a high-energy, sweaty live set. Have a listen to the album stream below, and purchase the digital or physical copy through Bandcamp.
Where: House of TARG (1077 Bank St.)
When: Thursday, Dec. 18/2014
Cost: $7 @ door