From here to serenity: DIY dynamics drive St. Louis band’s beyond and across expectations.
It’s been a long way from the top: a record for a major label was followed by a release on an independent, and now this quartet are back on their own, so if “Bridges” picked up where “The Painful Art Of Letting Go” left off 10 years earlier, there’s a certain logic to it. The group’s erstwhile abandon might lurk in the infectious chorus of “Just Like You Want It” but it comes to the fore once the bravado of “Nights” has revealed a sad streak under the songs’ melodic gloss. Yet with vigorous rhythm section shifting the mood from the glaze of “Stay” to the desperate shouts of “Get Away” and with Casey Walker turning romanticism into drama, even metal riffs behind “Weather Rolls” feel riveting.
As a result, all the heavy sway of “She Don’t Care” notwithstanding, it’s clear the ensemble have finally embraced their inherent pop leanings, and the rage of Chris Hobbs’ guitars only fuels the tunes. The band get down too theatrical on “Traitor” – too intense, too lachrymose – while “Straight To The Bottom” is a perfect vehicle for them to blow the heartbreak up to arena proportions, with serrated hooks and all. But “Take Me Home” signals a tremulous and hopeful comedown: a destination of that long way from the top, bringing “Bridges” to the other side, one with the greener grass. A thing to marvel at.