Review Date: 10/08/2014
Review By: Angel Journey
Release Date: 08/26/2014
Rating: [usr 9]
Striking while the iron is hot, indie-pop quintet Shadow of Whales recently released their self-titled EP, further showcasing their spirited and infectious sound. The band calls Austin, TX home and is made up of frontman Joshua Flores, his brother Caleb on drums, Chris Fraga on lead guitar, Jeremy Boyum on bass guitar, and JD Vazquez on keys/glockenspiel.
The EP opens with “Dream,” a lively track full of youthful vocals, fun guitar riffs, and spritely melodies. With hopeful lyrics and a catchy chorus, it’s an inspiring piece as it encourages having a steadfast and enduring outlook on life. “I know where I wanna be, I’ll live like I know what I mean. Won’t let anybody tell me any different, because I need to follow my dream.”
Keeping the energy levels high is the track “Just A Little,” which features a fast-paced rhythm, a powerful bridge breakdown, and great lyrical work. The song takes a look at the superficial world that we surround ourselves with, pushing us to ask the question: why? “I can’t believe it, what I’m seeing, am I the only one? We are all talking, but not living, looking at the sun.”
“Fall Back” takes a more mellow tone and taps into feelings of struggle and angst. “I never thought that I would be ending up in this place. It started here, a little there. Oh, how it turned into this.” With delicate vocals and subtle key and guitar melodies, the track becomes a cohesively fluid piece.
Up next is “Forever,” a vibrant and budding track with a contagious energy. The band marvelously blends guitar rhythms, glockenspiel melodies, and peppy synths to pump up their message of hope. No matter the relationship struggle, tell yourself “we won’t always be this way forever, it gets better. I tell ya, even in the worst we stay together.”
“Bury The Hatchet” is quite the journey, as it opens with an impressive show of acapella work, features a fierce musical breakdown, and is the best lyrical work of the EP. “In a small, midwestern town, there’s a treasure underground. Placed there by the bandaged hands of a secret ridden man.” The track depicts the ballad of a man and woman plagued by regret and what happens when they hold onto their guilt.
Rounding out the EP in strong fashion is “Pretenders,” another catchy and energetic piece. This song represents the best of what Shadow of Whales has to offer: brilliant melody work, a wonderful blending of vocals and instrumental tonality, and lyrics that are both easily relatable and stimulating. “We are actors and actresses playing our parts, ’cause we’re pretenders, emotionless, fooling our hearts.”
With this only being their first EP, Shadow of Whales has shown an impressive maturity in their musical and lyrical abilities. Do yourself a favor and grab a copy!
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