# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Acquaintances - Acquaintances

  by Lisa Torem

published: 25 / 1 / 2014

Acquaintances - Acquaintances
Label: Epitonic
Format: CD


Impressive debut album from experimental Chicago-based super-group, Acquaintances

The Chicago-based quintet, Acquaintances, pull from a plethora of influences. Chris Wilson, for example, drummed with Ted Leo and the Pharmacists and Shake Ray Turbine. Singer, guitarist and organist Justin Sinkovich has played with the Poison Arrows and Thumbnail. Patrick Morris, the group's bassist and other songwriter, has a history with the Poison Arrows, and on the band’s new self-titled CD, Jered Gummere (The Ponys, Bare Mutants) and Stephen Schmidt (Thumbnail, Chino Horde) purposefully divide vocal and guitar duties, which creates a wealth of sonics. The debut album begins with ‘Paramount’, and its pounding rhythms and curious bleeps are crowned by Schmidt’s appropriately monochromatic lead vocals. ‘Learn to Let It Go’ incites with much more of a melody and more give and take between the players. The song is followed by the grinding, gritty beat, lavish vocal overdubs and eerie instrumentals of ‘Skin’. ‘She Never Sleeps’ is a very expressive vocal number on which Sinkovich stretches his precise, expressive inflection over a welcoming hook. The best call and response and most effective and contrasting harmonic progression within a relatively short song goes to ‘The Night is a Trick’. We move on to the irreverent ‘Got It Covered’ with its uber fat drums; props to Gummere for fine vocals and crafty shredding. ‘Lower Your Expectations, Increase Your Odds’ has a grand, head bopping effect. ‘Bachelor’s Grove’ has a delightful tubular bells branding, whilst ‘Say All The Right Things’ contains the most satisfying garage riff. Finally, the penultimate ‘Ghosts’ gets down with Gummere’s face-melting baritone and excellent guitar. Sinkovich completes the package with keen vocals on ‘Thinking We are Done Here’. Acquaintances is a fine collection of players who know how to create a buzz and build up the vitality, track by track. Stay tuned.

Track Listing:-
1 Paramounts
2 Learn to Let It Go
3 Skin
4 She Never Sleeps
5 This Night Is a Trick
6 Got It Covered
7 Lower Your Expectations, Increase
8 Bachelor’s Grove
9 Say All the Right Things
10 Ghosts
11 Thinking We Are Done Here

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