King Washington’s first full-length studio album, The Gears, is mellow and catchy. The band seemed to keep their original sound while simultaneously stepping out of their comfort zone. The CD makes for a pleasant listen and is likely to have a nice turnout with both indie and classic rock fans.
Most of The Gears is similarly arranged, as the songs are slow and peaceful. Soulful vocals tell the story of life’s various struggles while still remaining optimistic. Prime examples of this are tracks “Right On,” “Animal,” and “Fancy.” “Right On” is serene, with echoing vocals and repetitive verses. Similarly, “Animal” is relaxed and almost eerie. Its quaint background music is accentuated by its loud, animated choruses. “Fancy” is catchy with simple guitar riffs and love-song lyrics.
Although these characteristics are present throughout the entire album, King Washington incorporates some different elements that keep the CD interesting. For instance, “Fourth Of July” starts off with a string of intense drumbeats. With lyrics like “no one’s perfect,” the track is sentimental, although admittedly a bit corny. “Bawl And Change” caught my eye due to its clever title; it then proved to be both captivating and whimsical. In “Anybody Home,” the band adds a mandolin, which provides the track with a unique, psychedelic tempo.
The most original song off The Gears is “Cotton.” Its distorted beat is unlike any other on the album. The track begins with a round of screaming vocals that at first seem out of place. However, it then transitions back to the same smooth tune present in the rest of the CD. Overall, King Washington remained true to their trademark soft, acoustic melodies and still added room for experimentation.