Never change a working concept: The Ganders’ music relies on the thrusting and edgy vocals of Darren Jordan, as well as on its bluesy but vibrant and imposing instrumental arrangement that hits the mark by combining hooking guitar, blurry yet brisk bass (Dan Hickman) and dynamic drum (Paul Byrne) sound. With songs as energetic and forceful as theirs, the listener soon finds himself under a spell of grungy and enigmatic vocals, fascinated by a sonorous and vigorous instrumental staging: rapid, rousing drums bond with precise, strident still striking guitar riffs and ravishing, obscure bass melodies. Concisely, these are the defining tonal elements which enhance both EPs - ‘Hurricane’ (2011) and ‘Slipping In’ (2013) - of the 3 piece, Birmingham based bluesy rock band.
Whilst ‘Hurricane’ - the first single of their eponymous EP - captivates with climatic instrumental pace, reaching its peak at the thrilling guitar solo and its resolution at the sweeping drum outro, the other 3 songs (‘Good Time Girl’, ‘Right Here’ and ‘Revolution’) leave a lasting impression due to their atmospheric and trenchant sonority, in common with forceful and rough vocals of bluesy shades.
‘Slipping In’ (EP) follows the same compositional patterns as ‘Hurricane’ (EP), shows progress and more variety though in both structure and vocal and instrumental input. The three songs of the EP convince not only through a more refined and eclectic vocal performance but also through an emphatic and infectious instrumental setting. Yet in contrast to ‘Hurricane’ (EP) it’s overall a more focused sound.
‘Slipping In’ for instance concentrates on the vocals and puts the strength of the instrumental backing into making them strike and delight even more. The song is introduced to its audience with a energetic drum-guitar interaction, but it’s the vocal performance that excels due to its bluesy and grungy timbre. Whilst the drums are reserved still surprisingly striking in sound throughout the entire composition, the guitar and bass sound enhance from light to persistent and intensify grandly in the course of the track without outdoing the soulful and expressive vocal act.
Boy oh boy, impressive and swift bass sound dominates the second song on ‘Slipping In’ (EP). The insistent instrumental arrangement - varied in melody and resonance - rises and outshines the distinctive, dark and eccentric vocals presented on ‘Dirty Soul’. This is how loud (means intense and thrilling) and dirty (means roaring, rousing and filthy (all feautures are positively connoted)) music should sound like.
The last yet definitely not the least song on The Ganders’ recent EP is a ‘stand out track’. ‘Feeling’ is prominent because of its perfectly blending instrumental and vocal harmony. Acute and imposing guitar, driven and drastic drum, melodious and haunting bass sound as well as strong vocals mingle and are complemented by evocative lyrics. A lingering finish for a complex and atmospheric EP whose quality only suffers at times when the instrumental setup gets all too stirring and thereby slightly clamorous.
In the end it’s always the same procedure. People wait for new music to be released. They eagerly await several notable but somehow familar sounding songs, songs with particular melodies, tonal sequences, instrumental structures they anticipate to hear of musicians they fancy. In fact: The more songs the better - one expects more variety, an expansive listening experience and more musical moments to explore.
As for me, I rather enjoy thoughtout and elaborately composed EPs with less tracks featured on them than those with a vast number of songs of which one is able to pick out all such which are not only sounding much alike and interfere with the originally planned harmonious yet enthralling overall concept of the EP itself, interfere with its conherence, but also which have weak points in respect to the setup of songs. It’s true that there are exceptions yet I’ve experienced that several LPs and albums have at least one up to three songs which stand out negatively, which can’t keep pace with the other tracks of the album.
EPs such as Bethpage Black’s ‘Black Music’, such as the bedroom hour’s ‘Themes’, such as The Shallows’ ‘About Time Vol. 1’ and ‘Same Space Vol. 2’, such as The DeviousMeans’ ‘Presenting The Devious Means’ and ‘Songs We All Are Singing’, such as Puppet Rebellion’s ‘Chemical Friends’, such as High/Low’s ‘Raygun EP’ and ‘Forty EP’ restore one’s hope though that those music compilations exist: EPs with equally profound and dilligently arranged songs. Truth be told: ‘Slipping In’ (2013) by The Ganders is definitely one to add to this list. It amplifies the strong points that already are distinctive of ‘Hurricane’ (2011) and guarantees that its music lingers in the audience’s memory whilst sonorous melodies and instrumental harmonies invade both the air and the listener’s mind, melodies and harmonies which eventually evolve as a ‘dirty’ and bluesy sound that simply does not slip away all too easily.
Closing words: What are your experiences with EPs and albums, which format do you prefer and for what reason? And more importantly, what do you think of The Ganders' music? Either leave a comment below or tell the band itself via twitter - I'm sure the guys gonna be thrilled about your feedback.