The Sound of Curves – Gone Gatsby
The Sound of Curves won’t likely be toiling in semi-obscurity much longer. Their third release Gone Gatsby poises them to take their highly individualistic brand of alternative rock to a new level, possibly breaking through to greater commercial success than they have hitherto experienced, and they will do so on the backs of an evolving songwriting vision that upends their typical approach in entertaining and compelling ways. This South Texas based four man band know their way around a variety of guitar workouts, even bringing in classic rock influences at key points, but they are also open enough to bring less than rock and roll elements into their sound like keyboards and synthesizers. This is easily their most confident and composed collection yet and this is illustrated by performances lacking any pretentiousness and brimming over with passion.
Confidence literally comes bursting from every track. Even when they wreath their arrangements with inventive electronic touches, like on the opener “Galaxy”, they never lose any of the rock and roll energy powering their performances. Guitarists Leonel Pompa and Aaron Montano-Teague are an impressive team who work in often seamless ways. Few songs show that off better than the title song. “Gone Gatsby” is some of the most intelligent songwriting on the album and the chorus is probably the best moment you’ll hear over the course of these fourteen songs. They really latch onto something quite effective here and it’s never overwrought, even if the danger of it being so is always there. “Disco” is a powerful rocker with a commercial side, but it comes romping out of the speakers with such uninhibited power and glee that it’s impossible to miss the attitude. Their vocals are equally rambunctious and really dig into the song’s chaotic energy.
The lyricism of the main guitar figure in “Josephine”, courtesy of lead guitarist Aaron Montano-Teague, stands out even among the numerous melodies on this album. It has unusually immediate clarity and the band capitalizes on its potential by expanding it into a full on twin guitar attack. The vocalists Pompa and Roger Mahrer deliver one of the album’s finest harmony vocals as well that nicely complement the guitar work. The rumbling blues guitar opening “London” seamlessly shifts into a bouncy alt-rock arrangement that the vocals ride with great energy. Synthesizers play an important role on the song “Midnight” and the guitars take a rare subservient role that suits the track quite well. The vocals inhabit this primarily electronic landscape with vocals that know just how to play against the synths. There’s probably no track with warmer, snappier guitars than the song “Blinker” and the vocals respond in kind with the sort of zesty performance that the arrangement deserves. “Tennessee” alternates dark electronic touches with energetic guitar rave up and a white knuckled, passionate vocal. Gone Gatsby is the band’s greatest achievement to date and sets the table for their future by expanding on the band’s sound without ever going too far away from their musical heart.
9 out of 10 stars