Townes is The Band that Brings It On Home
By Zachariah Weaver
Bringing out the Morrison within with their new album titled The Band EP, local indie rock group, Townes touches on a classic mid-to-late ’60s groove while still leaving room for uncharted territories with each song. The opening track “Slow Down” is where the Morrison comparison initially comes from with the irresistible low baritone whale by lead vocalist John Schroeder. But each track ventures off into places even more amusing.
Wrapped up in a sound similar to Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward’s duo She & Him, the second track off The Band EP—“Paper and Pen”—is filled with pure rock n’ roll joy. Unlike “Slow Down,” the second tune shows off the vocal relationship between Schroeder and solo female member, Lauren McCaffrey. The entire track is filled with “oohhss” and girl/boy harmonies, which always have a way of charming things up a bit. However, Townes doesn’t stop their sound exploration there.
Two tracks later, the song “God Only Knows” actually fulfills their psychedelic-inspired attitude after McCaffrey switches to lead vocals over a sporadic blues-rock, dream-pop fusion throughout the chorus. Each one is set up as a breakdown and rises up to an explosive level, the way an orchestra might. But Townes keeps some awesomely weird slide guitar action going on throughout the entire song, adding a tad of nostalgic spookiness to the track.
Besides the well-written melodies and great crescendos Townes has been able to gather for this release, the lyrics are just another layer that seem to fit the sound and style of the songs perfectly. Simple and descriptive allusions tell stories like a country song; track three’s—“John Wayne” lyrics describe the memories between the writer and someone who closed the door on them long ago.
“I tip my hat like John Wayne in that movie you never saw. That was the deal we made when we laid in bed all those years ago. I didn’t used to be searching for meaning in memories. But after you closed the door behind me I knew I might as well be out of sync.” These are the words songs are meant to have–meaningful, suggestive, evocative. And Townes has successfully put together song and story in one with The Band EP.
Another inspiring move this band did with its latest release was keeping things simple. The songs sort of speak for themselves and don’t need any embellished add-ons. Townes seemed to have known what kind of gold they were sitting on and decided to go spend it just the way it was.
Check the band out live this Friday Oct. 18 at Back to the Grind in Riverside, Calif. They will be handing out their new EP at the show and bringing out the new songs live.
Back to the Grind, 3575 University Ave., Riverside, (951) 784-0800. www.facebook.com/townestheband.