By Erik Rojas
Poppy, Electro-funky, dance-worthy awesomeness…with flute. That phrase sums up Boston sextet Gentlemen Hall pretty well. Starting as a few Berklee students who would, as lead vocalist Gavin McDevitt put it, “party and jam pretty loud in the dorms,” Gentlemen Hall blossomed quickly within the Boston music scene, bringing a funky, dance-infused flavor to their live performance. The band rose greatly in fan-base once they appeared on the Billboard Music Awards. When We All Disappear signifies the band’s first official release, and it is phenomenal from start to finish.
Kicking off the EP is the jam “Gravity Will Break Our Bones.” Originally on their unofficial LP, the song blends the smooth, deep vocal tones of Cobi Mike with the harmonious highs of Gavin McDevitt. It creates a sweet sounding sonic onslaught. Synth-lovers will go giddy for this tune. Keyboardist Bradford Alderman crafts a gorgeous whirlwind of vintage oscillation, so much so that may find yourself waiting for a disco-ball to descend from your ceiling.
Third up on the record is “Close 2 Me”, a sweet little tune that once again has a solid mix of McDevitt’s high, manipulated vocals and Mike’s soulful lows. This track is truly a standout, however, due to its exotic flute lines. Jolly, bearded flutist Seth Hatchen plays out airy lines, forming a neo-80’s feeling that fits perfectly with the band’s overall sound. Philip Boucher’s rhythmic, jazzy drumming gives the song its needed groove, while Rory the bassist pumps out a mean line as the foundation of the song.
“Tame the Beast” comes in fourth on the EP, once again with classic synth chords and a quick beat by Boucher. McDevitt takes the reins on this track, singing about a woman that is apparently a “beast,” as he sings things like “I’ll tame the beast/until she’s mine/bite through my heart/ and chew slowly.” It gives the song an edginess that makes it that much better. An instrumental breakdown in the middle allows the six piece to display their instrumental prowess, with a plethora of guitar, drums, and synth lines.
Tracks like “All Our Love” and “Blush” show how Gentlemen Hall aren’t restricted to the funk. These jams show a more alternative, indie electronic side to the band, with clean guitar chords and soaring harmonies. “Take Me Under” is a surefire club banger, with a massive sound from the synths and intense, energetic bass and drums by Philip and Rory.
It is very safe to say that Boston has pumped out some of the best recent acts this year, Gentlemen Hall being on of them. It is also safe to say that good, homegrown funk is alive and well in this millennia and Gentlemen Hall are the bearers of this neo-disco torch. Be sure to catch this classy six-piece on the road, and surely, pick up this record, it may just take you under.
Release Date: September 20th, 2011
Record Label: Unsigned
Recommended Tracks: “Tame the Beast” “Close to Me”
For Fans Of: Passion Pit, Bad Rabbits, LCD Soundsystem
Purchase On iTunes
You can also send a tweet their way by tweeting @gentlemenhall.