MUSIC REVIEWS: Department of Eagles and Pepper

Department of Eagles
In Ear Park

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Dense orchestrated sound layered with instrumentation persists throughout In Ear Park, the new album by Department of Eagles. The songs are ethereal and at times almost ambient, recalling Brian Wilson’s Pet Sounds and sixties era Beatles. The band, which began in 2001 with N.Y.U. roommates Daniel Rossen and Fred Nicolaus, can be thought of as close relative to Grizzly Bear (featuring members Chris Taylor and Chris Bear in addition to Rossen). At times, the album may be too reminiscent to Grizzly Bear, but the band adds new elements by interjecting modern rhythms and lyrics sung as an instrument instead of a pop vocal. In Ear Park is not merely a collection of songs, but a true album leading the listener through a variety of musical landscapes, a refreshing change in the age of pop singles. The production of the album underscores the band’s sense of experimentation and musical craft, which is especially evident in the songs “No One Does It Like You,” “Balmy Night,” and “Teenagers.” The album is essentially rock and roll trance- it is at times sublime and occasionally monotonous but in total it’s an interesting work of art.

Download – Department of Eagles – In Ear Park.Mp3

Tim Needles

Pink Crustaceans and Good Vibrations
(LAW Records)

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The good ol’ boys from K-O-N-A bring back the beachy rock-riddims we’ve grown to love with their fifth album titled, Pink Crustaceans and Good Vibrations. This album is Pepper’s first-ever release off their new record label, Law Records. While iTunes lists PCGV as “Reggae,” the album actually features a better blend of the rocker sound found (in excess) on their third album In With The Old with the steady reggae nuances of their most popular album, Kona Town. While the lyrics are often collegiate, the groovy vocals are complemented well by the guitar-work and the bass lines. Either way you cut the Crustacean, you will find your mood lifted and your head boppin’. What more could you expect from three island boys from Hawaii Nei? Maika’i, boys. Good job.

Nicole Velasco

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