Thursday, September 22, 2016

Throwaways: “Vigils & Vignettes"

Throwaways (a wonderful group of whom I’ve just been informed) note themselves on their website as “…an electronic-infused rock/pop trio based out of Jackson, MS.” A seemingly apt description for anyone who hears their music. Made up of Dusty Goff, Michael Perry, and Robert Hansford; the band is out with a new EP titled “Vigils & Vignettes.”

The album begins with one of the toughest bass-parts I think I’ve heard since Cliff Burton’s “Anesthesia (Pulling Teeth).” It doesn’t last long, though, the bass catapults the track, titled “Sky,”  into an orchestral-in-your-face wall of sound (very pleasant) and finally some very smooth male vocals. Throwaways gets major points from me for their use of electronic pads and drones in this number.

The next song “Hope + Fear” is much more akin to an 80’s synth-pop track with a sawtooth lead taking the reins; it’s balanced, though, with distorted guitar. This one is upbeat with a driving drum part augmented by arpeggios until it lands on the chorus, which, if it were any more anthem-like, would be mandated by law to be used as soundtrack material in every film’s slow motion scene (I mean that as a compliment, BTW, anthems are tough to write!)  

Track number three is back with the pads (again, big fan!) but this song has an almost religious quality to it in the way the reverbed synths are the accompaniment for solemn vocals. Of course, the lyrics also hint towards something higher “oh, you take the best of me, now take the rest of me… and I’ll die.” Many of you might be thinking of the Seymour Simons and Gerald Marks song “All of Me” popularized by Frank Sinatra – if it is a nod, it’s a subtle one. This song is climactic in a way that is just stunning. Listen to it on great speakers, not crappy laptops.

The EP rounds out with “Your Eyes,” an optimistic and fast song that has an overt sensual character, although, that impression could just be the utter smooth-ness of the vocals. In many ways, it reminds me quite a lot of the other “Your Eyes” by one Peter Gabriel made famous by John Cusack in the film Say Anything. If only someone will hold up a boombox I think we could get that scene together for 2016!

“Vigils & Vignettes” is pure proof of quality over quantity. It’s a lean four tracks, but there aren’t any throwaways (no pun intended) on this album. What the band has given us is a beautiful set of songs that we can enjoy beginning to end. It will be nice; however, to see what these guys release in the future and if they can pull off a full album with the same attention to perfection. In the meantime, make sure to grab yourself a copy of this one. 

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