Parlor Walls are a three piece band from Brooklyn and have been around for a while developing their sound. After a number of EP releases the band have finally conjured up their debut album Opposites, which has set itself up to be quite an intriguing listen.
The alum opens up with ‘Crime Engine Failure’, which has this sinister sound to it surrounded by smoke giving it that overall hazy sound. This turns out to be a recurring feature for the album as most of the songs obtain this haziness, which allows the album to lean into that noise rock genre.
Another track that sticks out here is ‘Hesitation’, which has a lot to do with the commanding vocals coming from the lead singer, as she pulls out these very aggressive tones as she shouts “Fall Away” making the song very memorable, and produces one of the best moments of the album.
Parlor Walls do a great job of merging the saxophone into their music, there’s never really a time where it sounds out of place or shoehorned into the songs. They never really use it at the forefront of the band, as they just let it linger on in the background and give each of the songs a bit more depth. However it would’ve been interesting to see what they could’ve done if the brass took more of an imposing role on one of the songs, just to see how far they could go with it.
Then the track “Me Me My” comes up and although it’s one of the better songs on the album, it unnecessarily goes on a tad bit too long which takes the wind out of sails slightly. The first half of the song has an eerie feeling around but the last two minutes seem to drag on and don’t add much to the song.
‘Birthday’ is the brightest spot of this album as the lyrics seem to tell the story of someone ruining your birthday. Which although is childish, it makes a great core for a song as they musically create the annoyance you have towards someone who’s ruined your special day.
The album is an ideal start for the band as they’ve clearly got the sound figured out, and know how to develop good songs. However the challenge on their next record must be to create songs that will last long in the brain, because coming away from the album none of the songs really stuck as they all seem to blend together. The awesome sounds they create though are something that can easily be developed and made into something even more powerful on the next record.
Words by Alex Wise @AJWise
Favourite Songs: ‘Birthday’, ‘Hesitation’ and ‘Love Again’