Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Gulfer - Transcendals

Gulfer - Transcendals
Label: Friend Of Mine/Die Young/Stack Your Roster

Release Date: February 23, 2013
You know how there's always that really awesome local band who plays every show? They're probably like a couple years older than you and people at every show know all their songs. Of course you're incredibly biased – this band is probably really awful which is why they're still a local.  Montreal, Qu├ębec's Gulfer is nothing like that. Gulfer is that band who's like "hey, we had our first practice last week, check out this demo" and you listen to the demo and it's better than anything nearly every other local band has written and makes you want to quit playing music. I booked this band to play my hick town a few months back and everyone really liked them, "everyone" being the audience made up of people who consider themselves competitive beer pong players and "Kenny Chesney fans".

Anyways, Gulfer really has something good going on. They're essentially equal parts TTNG and... actually, they're more or less TTNG, if TTNG were way more "understandable" and had the dude from You Blew It! fronting them. Usually, bands who can be described as "X band worship" are usually followed by some quip about "6/10, this record is decent, but forgettable", but considering that TTNG is one of the most innovating and interesting bands in the last little while, they're probably the right type of band to worship. But that's not to say that Transcendals isn't doing its own thing. The leads are melodic and catchy, the rhythm section is bouncy and solid, but isn't afraid to get flashy. And they're only a three piece. Their singer is this dude busting out off-measure tapping licks and intricate riffs while singing. Not to mention, their live performance is spot on which is all the more incredible.

What's most striking about this record is that it holds back at all the right moments. On "Jurassic Spark," the flashy guitar work takes a backseat to a vocal melody that carries the song. But of course there's still some really complicated tapping riff going on in the background.

The record's standout track is the opener, "Ten Souls." Based on this EP and their August 2012 split with Fago Sepia, this song encompasses this band's sound. It's intricate and noodle, but not obnoxious. It's melodic and bouncy at times, and messy at others. Gulfer is definitely a name to keep an eye on in 2013. Transcendals may very well end up on a lot of end of year lists as one of the strongest EPs from its genre.

8.25/10

Recommended if you like: TTNG, Grown Ups, Nai Harvest

Check it out on their Bandcamp

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