LOCALS ONLY: The Sweet Taste of The Peripherals’ New “Home Brew”
By Zachariah Weaver
Released on Aural Gravy Records, San Diego-based folk-rock band The Peripherals’ latest album, Declarations, reaches up to great places for lyric inspiration almost directly from Modest Mouse while their instruments shoot for the epic energy of Arcade Fire. However, you can’t exactly put a finger on which sound they’re instigating. And that’s because they’ve managed to create their own sweet taste, like a new home brew having its debut at the local pub.
Starting at the back of the record, track nine–“Should I Ever” is a song that sums up a lot of what The Peripherals are trying to do with this CD. It has the country two-step rhythm and a sweet, calm melody. But when everything pops in together after each transitional break, the high energy of the vocals seems to hold together the rest of the tune. And the Isaac Brock singing style really kicks in at the bridge. It sort of brings me back to high school and early college. In a good way.
Moving back to the top at track one–“Baltimore” gives us the true glimpse of what this band is all about. Drew Thams and Omar Musisko reveal their soft but punctuated indie vocals over an odd, but catchy guitar riff. One of the best perks this band offers is the simplicity of instrumentation, and “Baltimore” starts off the album with that detail just perfectly.
Released along with the album, is the official video for “Baltimore.” Showing off some black and white footage of the band performing in front of family, friends and neighbors, it surely provides a mood closely tied to the award-winning act The Avett Brothers. And not only does it lend a little more perspective to the song, but it allows the D.I.Y. attitude they have and displays their true colors.
Moving on to track four–“Spun” is a song that has the ability to immediately catch anyone off-guard. Without giving any spoiler alerts, the first 20 seconds make you feel like you’re spinning around in circles. The vocals come down to a whisper as Thams and Musisko layer themselves with deep and top-of-the-range harmonies throughout the verses. But when the chorus hits, the energy ramps up and that strain of Modest Mouse’s lead vocalist Brock comes shinning though on The Peripherals melody arrangement. The band makes it a soothing experience, one you’ll want to keep listening to all the way through to the end.
Head over to Aural Gravy Records’ SoundCloud to check out a live stream of “Baltimore” and purchase the full album.