6) Off Road Minivan – Spiral Gaze EP
This is what happens when emo kids grow up.
The lone extended play on my list, Off Road Minivan’s debut is the best thing that my favorite label (Tooth and Nail Records) put out this year. While incredibly short, it proves its worth in spades. In fact, I believe I love these tracks more now than I did back when they were first released in February. Vocalist Ryan “Tuck” O’Leary, who also plays bass for Solid State’s Fit For A King, shows us a completely different side of himself, writing emotional powerhouse anthems with much more maturity than what his band’s name suggests. Musically, the easiest comparison would be Thrice, but don’t let that throw you if you’re not a fan. There’s no screaming, and these guys exercise a much more honed musical palate than most of their peers. The focus is on the melody and the wonderful lyrics, and not just the urge to, you know, rock out with a little more edge. Restraint is key, and they excel. While all four tracks here are fantastic, Glow is the standout here, and is in competition of one of my favorite songs of the year. I don’t know who Anna is that the song is speaking about. I don’t know if she really got lost in the sea, or if this is an analogy for something else. In either case, its heart wrenching and desperate. Carolina, I kept on calling / won’t you bring her back home? / I just wanted to say goodbye / If only I could see the light in your eyes glow – and further – Without a body / what’s a funeral? Put this on and close your eyes and get lost in songwriting that means something.
Listen To: Glow & Spiral Gaze
& Light Up The Room
& 17 Years.
Tooth & Nail Records, February 16th, 2018