Born from the collaborative efforts of Asbury Park’s own Breathing Blue and The Vinyl’s, Bounders is a Monmouth County band inspired by groups like As Tall As Lions, Radiohead, and Foals. Bounders is a six-piece group featuring dual vocalists, three guitars and a full complement of alternative-based rock rhythms. Featuring local writers and players such as Matt Basilotto, Rob Bost, Drew Duddy, Jason LaRaia, Rudy Meier and Justin Sanford, Bounders is out in support of their brand new project titled, Narrows.
Bounders recently contacted me about their new record, upcoming shows, as well as single info, and I wanted to take a listen and give you my opinion on the latest disc. In case you are not aware of this Monmouth County group, Bounders was nominated for an Asbury Music Award for top pop/rock band for 2015 and are drawing bigger crowds increasingly at each and every gig they play. Their first single off the EP is called “Lead Me To Water” and the song has an accompanying video that has been raising quite a few eyebrows on the scene and beyond. The video incorporates different visualizations and a sort of interpretive dance to bring the desired effects to the track. The band teamed up with Anthony Vebra and choreographers Tommy Gedrich, Mikayla Russo and Robin Gedrich to get their performance point across for “Lead Me To Water.”
Narrows is a rich and expansive sound comprised of talented musicians and experienced engineers. I flipped on the playlist to go through the songs, and this is what I found:
“Lead Me To Water” is the first song on the playlist and the chosen single for the video above. This is an easy number filled with intricate instrumentation and vocal magic. Vocalist Drew Duddy is a man in a class all his own. When it comes to detailed and complex arrangements and passages, Bounders write from the perspective of Radiohead and even Pink Floyd. Vocals are strong and unified, providing a wall of sound as guitars chime and wail throughout the piece. Bounders has a keen eye on their productions and “Lead Me To Water” is a mosaic romp through alternative rock goodness.
“Til’ We Sink” is up next. If your thing is labyrinthine rock and roll, this is the song for you. It reminds me of something off of the first Coldplay record. For that matter, anything from Kasabian. The mix is clean and clear, making plenty of room for massive layers of vocal (thanks to Duddy and Sanford) and guitar magic. Lots of metered delay effect is used to great measure here as well. If you’re into music that utilizes tons of color and passionate, forward thinking feel, you’re going to love “Til’ We Sink.”
“Metropolis” takes the player next. Mixing the remnants of one part Portishead with one part Maroon 5, “Metropolis” dishes out bluesy, R&B-flavored alt rock with a style all its own. The song starts off with a simple riff and melodic vocal attacks over the top of the dance-flavored bass and drum tracks. Once again, guitars work things out with panache and stylistic talent. Between riffs and single-note runs, chords ring in applications of tone-shaping bliss. String scrapes sound the back end of the tune and are the perfect complement to a truly impressive composition. The ending riffs and lead break dominate the song like nothing else I’ve heard in quite some time.
“Sail On” is up next and slides off the platter with a carefree combination of acoustic guitars and layered vocals before the band kicks in. “Sail On” reminds me of the band’s influential mentors Foal. They use the same detailed arrangement style here for what they do. Once again, the vocal arrangements of Duddy and Sanford are lush and well-thought-out pieces of brilliance. Catchy and ultrasonic, “Sail On” would do well in most modern rock radio playlists.
The last song on the disc is called “Trudge.” Featuring gnarly guitar riffs underneath plaintive vocals, “Trudge” opens up like a flower blooming on a spring day. Instrumentation is a precise and well-measured blitzkrieg of powerhouse sound. Choruses are simple and addictive bursts of compositional delight. Backing vocals are unified and efficient throughout. Guitars continue their barrage of riffs and open chord sonic blasts of tube-fueled glory. The keyboard work is also quite spectacular here. This is probably my favorite song on a disc of solid songs.
Bounders splits their time between composing and doing videos with live performance. Narrows will be released on Feb. 12. Their CD release party set to take place at The Saint on Feb. 13.
Bounders is a great act with tons of talent and plenty of promise. Everyone in the band contributes quite more than the average rock outfit. If you like your rock anywhere along the lines of Foal, Radiohead or Silversun Pickups, you owe it to yourself to pick up Narrows and see Bounders live. Introspective and passionate, their music reflects a unique style and an extremely listenable quality of music here in Monmouth County and the world beyond.
Bounders is: Drew Duddy, vocals; Justin Sanford, vocals, bass and keys; Rudy Meier, guitar/keys; Matt Basilotto, guitar; Rob Bost, guitar; and Jason LaRaia, drums.
For more information on Bounders and their soon-to-be-released disc, head over to facebook.com/bounders for detailed show and musical info.