Banquets – Banquets
After a couple of good EPs Banquets previous album (Top Button, Bottom Shelf) was a bit of a disappointment. Although well received by a lot of people, in my opinion it lacked the catchyness the EP had in heaps. Banquets now return to the scene with their second full length. The album is simply called Banquets. Bands releasing a self-titled album to me always look like a statement from the band saying: “this is who we are, this is what we do”. In the case of Banquets I could only encourage that, since this new album is a return to form.
Banquets must have found all the hooks they forgot to use on “Top Button, Bottom Shelf” and decided to use it on their new album. This is just hook after hook after hook. And this type of Springsteen inspired punk needs them! Without it, the music becomes a bit shallow and forgettable, what was exactly my problem with TB,BS. Spin this new album twice and these songs start to settle in your head and you’ll catch yourself humming these tunes even if it’s a couple of days since you’ve last played the record.
Banquets hail from New Jersey, just like The Gaslight Anthem. A name that’s a big reference for Banquets. On this album Banquets are finding a sound more of their own, although their roots still shine trough and you can find references to that New Jersey sound everywhere. The lyrical direction is also more or less the same, dealing with life and love (lost). The sincerity with which these are delivered is very much engaging and really draws you in. One of the strengths of Banquets is the strong and recognizable voice of Travis Omilian. He is singing better than ever before. It’s difficult to point out a couple of standout tracks, as most songs are as good as the other songs. “Call It A Comeback” however is in my opinion the best track on the album. If you want to give this record a chance, start with that track.
To finish this up: it’s good to see how Banquets focused on their strong points and brought us ten new anthems.
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