Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Album Review: The Tower & The Fool - XIII EP

EP Rating: A-
You often hear talk of genres which have run their course and are beginning to stagnate, but we can rest assured that folk based Americana is not among them. It's a style that has been in a particularly rude state of health in recent times, with established artists like The Decemberists, Wilco and Ryan Adams all releasing excellent albums in this calender year, while new blood from bands like The War On Drugs promises much for the future. With the arrival of The Tower & The Fool, though, that trajectory has begun to shine even brighter.

Sound-wise, the Providence six-piece are by no means game changing, but they nevertheless bring forth an intriguing combination of folk, blues and punk rock. The range of styles they incorporate means that their sound is far from one dimensional, and that's something that's evident even on this two-track debut EP. Nine and a half minutes isn't a lot of time to showcase you're full range of talents, but XIII sees the band do a fine job of it - delivering a pair of excellent songs which suggest that they may well be onto something. Alex Correia and Chris Rosenquest may still be in their infancy as a songwriting partnership, but the two compositions presented here are shockingly accomplished, so much so that the band sounds near to being fully formed even at this early stage.

Correia's singing is an especially potent weapon, since it lends itself perfectly to the range of styles that the band incorporates. His voice is predominantly the type that we're used to hearing fronting punk bands, but it also has the type of anthemic quality that will make Springsteen comparisons inevitable - and fully justified. This is immediately evident on the wonderful alt-country twang of 'Die Alone,' but the more relaxed 'NYC' is equally impressive, with Correia's voice taking a more soulful leash and adapting to the style wonderfully. Behind him, the rest of the band also puts in a fine shift, with lead guitarist Chris Capaldi particularly impressing on both tracks.

While it may not be the most substantial release, XIII gives a clear glace at a band that could well be going places. They're hardly subjecting the genre to a drastic reinvention or pushing it towards pastures new, but the fact that only a pair of their songs can make such an impact speaks volumes about how good they could become. Americana is going through a real purple patch right now, but if this release is anything to go by it could be heading for even greater heights.

You can stream and buy XIII here.



1. Die Alone
2. NYC

1 comment:

  1. NYC is sung by their other vocalist/guitarist, Chris Rosenquest.