It’s a great opportunity afforded to me in my role at Unappreciated Scolars that I can broaden my musical horizons and experience bands that I doubt I would have happened upon on my own. The latest opportunity afforded to me was the chance to sample “Ceilings”, the latest release from New Jersey indie outfit The Dentist and I’m certainly glad to add this to my collection.
With no idea what to expect I fired up the album file and was immediately hit with a wave of warm, welcoming bass guitar line that gives album opener “Climbed too many trees” a rock solid core for the percussive drum beat and rhythm guitar to go to work crafting a neat soundscape. Such upbeat and up-tempo music would normally be at odds with the subject matter of the lyrics, that being the break up of a couple but both participants finding a better and more honest relationship as friends. It’s a song of acceptance of a situation and salvaging something good from something bad and the honeyed vocals and classic feel set the tone for the rest of the album.
This consistency is Ceilings’ greatest strength. The songs blend and weave into each other to create a piece that can be sampled in segments or on in the background as an accompaniment to, well, anything. Even the rather dour tone of the lyrics melts into everything and if you’re so inclined, you can sympathise, empathise or even revel in tales of failing or lost loves, or you can just let it all wash over you like a wave. This is an album to be enjoyed in different ways and serves different moods and I enjoyed it immensely.
Before I conclude I do have one personal nitpick with the amount of reverb applied to the vocals which although it does add to the ethereal feel at times, at others it can mask the lyrics making them hard to make out as they get swallowed by the effect. This leads to the opening minutes of the final track, “Digging up the dog”, where reverb is ditched entirely and an acoustic section that may be my highlight of the entire piece. This isn’t a deal breaker but it’s a thought I’ve had repeatedly while listening and it bears mentioning here.
In summary Ceilings is a great first impression for me of a very interesting band. It offers several different takes on quite a sad subject but makes hearing about them immensely pleasurable. Some fun guitars, drum work and production create a real mood piece to lose yourself in although not perfect it is recommended by me for anyone into classic ‘indie’ style music.
Ceilings is released on June the 24th 2016, check out the band online at www.dentistband.com
Thanks for reading.
Martin Dixon ( @BunnySuicida )