Grunge had an offshoot cousin that owned an acoustic guitar. He liked to play it while grunge played his distorted guitar. Together, they made a sound that sounded at its best a lot like Our Lady Peace’s Clumsy and at its worst like Creed. They got along for a while, but eventually split up. Grunge stormed off somewhere in a fit of angst and the cousin with the acoustic guitar eventually found his way into the current folk revival.
Well, Toronto’s The Regrettables seem dead set on getting the acoustic-grunge band back together. I think it’s about damn time. They studied hard, and seem to have found some of that magic. It actually takes some skill to combine two such opposite elements into something cohesive, but they succeed.
Before we get too high on praise, let me tell you where it goes a little awry. I’m not going to say vocalist James Ricci doesn’t have a great voice; he might very well have a fantastic one, I just feel like I have never heard it. Instead I heard what sounded like Scott Stapp and Dave Matthews scrapping it out in the back of his throat to try to control the sounds coming out of his airways. The end result sounds unnatural and forced.
This is self-produced, so I’ll take it with a grain of salt. I’m going to guess that if someday these guys find themselves with a real producer, he’ll encourage him to find his own voice (if not, maybe I get producer credits when he does?) It’s in there somewhere, trying to come out.
“Dead and Gone” and “Suicide Fling” stand out here. There are some complex arrangements that show some real promise. This EP serves as a good showcase of what they can do. I hope this band stick it out and find their muse, their own voice, and their own sound.
There’s a grunge revival waiting to happen, right? Please say there is. Pretty please? If so, these guys could have a part to play.
Written by Richard Brunette
*edited by Kate Erickson