This album by four East City boys now based in the nation’s capital starts off somewhat uncharacteristically with what Greil Marcus called a yarrrrragh: a vocal eruption of intense feeling but unpredictable power. A yarrrrragh is a wonderful thing existentially, but great artists have struggled to establish control over it.
After the opening track, things settle down very nicely, and the ultra-clean production, which is unkind to the yarrrrragh, becomes the perfect showcase for the mellower vocal sounds and chime-y guitars to come, particularly in the music box pattern at the end of “Catacomb.” The grooves and riffs suggest a very disciplined jam band, or nerd-wave (early Split Enz, Wooden Stars, the Rheostatics), but also, at times, Spoon, Modest Mouse, and the Shins. Also, weirdly, the Rolling Stones.
A nice, thoughtful iteration of two-guitars-bass-and-drums pop-rock from a band with good chops and a good ear for melody.
Fathers of Modern Rocketry’s The Fathers is available for purchase on Bandcamp.
All images courtesy the artist.