Monday, May 23, 2011

Select Start - The New Atlantic

I'll admit, I only checked out this EP because of Daniel Lancaster, better known as Jason Lancaster's brother. Select Start's pre Lancaster material was very familiar, as that was back in the day when I did nothing but scour PureVolume for new pop-rock bands. Looking back at the old material now, it's amazing that Select Start has released one of my favorite EPs so far this year. The band has ditched all the synths that devoured their powerpop sound, and now embraces a harmony heavy, indie influenced pop-rock style.

Lancaster and other vocalist Joe Guerra share vocal duties fairly evenly throughout the EP, though Guerra usually stays in the lead. However, even when Lancaster isn't in the lead, he's usually involved with harmonies. Lancaster's lead parts are easily the vocal highs of the record, but it's the instrumentation and song writing that really shine. The guitar parts no longer sound like generic pop-rock, adding more of an indie or alternative feel, and acoustics are often utilized as in "A Man Amongst Gentlemen", "The (Pretty) Good Life", and "Only You". "A Man Amongst Gentlemen" is one of the biggest signs of musical growth, as horns, keys, and harmonies dominate the first minute of the standout track. Multiple times during the EP the entire band harmonizes with each other, including the completely a capella closing track "So Far", that was recorded in one take.  What Select Start has done so far reminds me of what Hellogoodbye did last year. Ditch the electronics, add a lot more organic instrumentation, and continue making excellent pop tracks. They are easily the most improved band I've heard this year, and if we continue watching, we may witness a beautiful flower blossom before our eyes. You can check out the band on Facebook right here.

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