(self-released) By Nikki Hunt
On one hand, the rise and falls of the songs on this Cleveland trio's 11-song self-titled debut elicits feelings of irritation and anger. Listening to the album is like being locked in a room with only your own thoughts, wishing someone, anyone, would scream something to release the tension. On the other hand, the band effectively creates an atmosphere peaceful enough for sleep or study. If you've got the time, "Home," which clocks in at over nine minutes, is definitely an album highlight. The song opens with a bit of drums and then breaks up in the middle with a tear-jerking bell solo before closing with a heavy string arrangement. Even without words, the song tells a story. For those with less patience, the album is stacked with shorter gems, like the piano-heavy, 59-second-long "Settle." Backed by the sound of crickets, it's the ultimate inspiration for a high school couple's hot summer night. The short and sweet songs here are perfectly suited for an indie film. — Nikki Hunt
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