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In 2009, Passion Pit’s single “Sleepyhead” was the summer jam. “Sleepyhead” sounded like a modern teenager’s first attempt at playing the synth and making quick fixes with Apple’s Garageband. A few years later and the band plays gigs at the TD Garden. We’re all still listening.
In Boston, we must have a soft spot for synth pop: locals Gentlemen Hall are getting out there.
In 2011, Gentlemen Hall released their album When We All Disappear. The first track “Gravity Will Break Our Bones” did not really get my attention. The vocals seemed exaggerated and I think the track would sound better if it was converted to a faster pop-punk song. The next song, “All of Our Love”, was much better. Still, I found the chorus slightly annoying. It just sounds like imitation chanting and that bored me. At the end of “All Our Love”, however, there was a semi-break down where the listener can appreciate the art of a guitar solo on a synthesizer.
“Close To Me” was my favorite track. “Close To Me” sounds like all my favorite Chromeo songs and I’m okay with that. Unlike Chromeo, however, this song gravitates towards a blues-y and even somewhat funkadelic sound, something you don’t get from most pop music let alone indie synthpop.
The fourth track is “Tame the Beast”. This one reminded me of the souped up 80’s guitar rock that Urban Outfitters got their hands on. Two minutes in, however, they master a sound similar to Justice and I’m ready to go out dancing.
The final two tracks were “Take Me Under” and “Blush”. “Take Me Under” was an easy-listen but it did not really hold my attention. The scattered segments of synth bits in “Blush” make it the better listen and a good way to conclude the album. But for the most part, this song offers the listener a chance to recognize the guitar, bass, and drum parts. And then the listener realizes Gentlemen Hall are not just some teenagers fooling around with a keyboard but musicians that actually know what they’re doing.
If you’re looking for some local dance favorites, I recommend Gentlemen Hall. I mean their music isn’t dubstep, how bad can it be?