“Jeff Buckley meets the Travelling Wilburys meets Radiohead with a side of Tom Petty.” That is how The Stereo Division describe their musical influences on their Facebook page. The description is not quite accurate after listening to their latest release Love Is In Motion. The Radiohead bit fits the band’s style, but that’s about all. Their music is more of an amalgamation of Muse and U2, and while that is not a bad thing, their self-description was deceiving. I was expecting some simple, acoustic type bare-bones style music, not the effects-laden, falsetto-driven sound that I actually got.
A big fan of the British rock, these cats are,
The best way I could describe their sound would be this: you were transported to a planet with no gravity and you had to float through an air thick with a humidity index of 600%. That’s totally a genre of music, right?
What is very impressive is the fact that Darryl McCarthy wrote and played all the tracks on this album, save for the drums, and then decided to record and mix the whole thing in his basement with the help of Siegfried Meier, obviously. The production is very well done and deserves a shout out. Every instrument comes through clean and the mix sounds divine even when played out of my shitty phone speakers. “Love Is In Motion,” the title track, is a good example. Everything is awash in delay yet all the instruments blend in ecstasy. The guitars aren’t too overpowering, in fact, nothing is. I’m a fan of the little guitar solo thrown in at 3:12. It starts on a rare empty spot in one of their songs and ignites with a simple melody. Six notes, but it’s all McCarthy needs to capture the emotion.
However, I’m not a big fan of the singing on this album. There is too much falsetto for my taste, but, if that’s your bag, you’ll enjoy it. McCarthy’s pitch is on point and his melodies are interesting; catchy at times too. “Oh, come fire brigade, before it’s too late,” is the chorus from “Fire Brigade,” and one I caught myself, on more than occasion, singing during the week. And this ain’t even my preferred genre of music people! I do dig that snare roll in the second chorus to loop it back together. That shit was tight! Lastly, McCarthy hits and holds, a sultry 15-second falsettoed moan to lead the song out.
All in all, it’s a decent album. It’ll never hit number one on any list, but will not be nominated for a Razzie, either. It’s comfortable, middle of the road Brit pop. If you dig that, then check ‘em out.
Written by Aaron Deck
*edited by Danielle Kenedy