Album Reviews

Gentlemen Hall: When We All Disappear (Album Review)

Released September 8, 2011

Gentlemen Hall's six track EP "When We All Disappear," is filled with enough music to complete a double album in your mind. Each song is different and complex in its arrangements, harmonies and themes. When I first heard this band, I immediately thought of TV on the Radio, because of the depth of the vocals, the creativity that keeps pop on edge and ethereal connotations of the lyrics.

With influences from the Flaming Lips and David Bowie, this band gives esoteric music fans something to ponder, yet casual listeners will pick up the energy of these tracks and run with them regardless of what the rock snobs say. Gentleman Hall bring their talents directly to the creative music process and we look forward to hearing more from them soon !

 

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Track By Track:

1. Gravity Will Break Our Bones:

This opens with synth and deep lyrics, but escalates quickly to include flute, harmonies and a rushing melody that stays with you. The bridge is an inspiring anthem of love returned to eternal strength via trust in time and space. "it's between you and I - it's a moment away, you're beyond the horizon."  It is all knowing and encompasses connections on many levels. Yet, the song is catchy, simple in its ability to bring the listener in and the free dance tempo just works.

2. All Our Love.

Guitar work begins this smoother pop groove that is a throw back to 80's radio, which is not a bad thing. Gentlemen Hall seems to already be a staple of solid listenable contemporary music. It is a flash of what could be if up and coming artists let their creativity flow into what they imagine. All Our Love becomes a chant, when you see it live, the audience sings it louder than the band.

3. Close To Me.

I don't know if they meant to do this, but there are parts of this track that are so smooth it is almost R & B. The synthesizers and shuffle of the drum-kit as well as the flute keeps it on the GH edge. This video won the 2011 Boston Music Award for Best Video.

4. Tame The Beast.

Duran Duran is still touring, but they need to make space for GH and the energetic tracks they've produced here.

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5. Take Me Under.

I love this track simply because they let the flute highlight. All the rest of it is blended in harmony together in the synths and vocals. The lyrics are reflective of being completely and most importantly, voluntarily submerged. Be it atmospheric dis-engagement, or under water activity, the song is put together to give the listener a feeling of floating weightlessness. Even the beginning distortions have an untethered feeling.

6. Blush.

When words won't work, we'll talk with our eyes. Blush. The non-verbal communication of emotions. This is not just a little crush, though, this is a larger connection that seems impossible to explain and perhaps shouldn't be explained at all.

Meet Gentlemen Hall:

Gavin Merlot – vocals/guitar
Cobi Mike – vocals/guitar
Brad Alderman – keys/synths
Ro Richard – bass
Seth Hachen – flute
Phil Boucher – drums

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Gentlemen Hall has the corner understanding of creating interesting soundscapes but interweaving meaningful themes into their songs to draw out the thoughts of the listeners. Getting to the other side is mapped out with the insight and technological craft, as well as great vocals in harmony. I've played this record for many a visitor and have yet to come across someone who doesn't like it and better yet, it naturally brings people in to move about, shake about and say, "Hey, this sounds familiar, but it's new ?" The music is crafted with an underlying rhythm so listeners can connect, but the contemporary nature commands attention. Support this up and coming band.

For my live show review from the Boston Music Awards, click here.

Read about their Billboard Battle of the Bands win here.

For more information on Gentlemen Hall, visit their website !

Many thanks to Micah Gummel for volumes of great concert photos. Visit his website, New Hampshire Photographers .

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Out On The Tiles

Lenny Kravitz at the Wang Center, Boston: January 27, 2012

(With Raphael Saadiq under separate review)thumb lennycloseupweb2

 

Lenny Kravitz kicked off his "Black and White America" tour in Boston last night and it was a knock out show ! It was a privilege to see him in this intimate venue. Lenny told us of his travels in the past several months, played amazing guitar, sang his rockin heart out and showed pure love to this crowd. The band was a powerhouse ensemble performing rock, funk, soul and blues, with even a little jazz, at times. He played favorites like "American Woman", "Fly Away" and "Are You Going My Way", while he blazed the set with tracks from his new album, the magnificent Black and White America. (Released Aug 2011). The light effects and stage production were so vibrant, strobe psychadelic and reflective of the music, that I have one word for this entire show: FIREWORKS. 

 

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