Local indie rock band The Late Greats are gearing up to release their debut EP, Kids You Knew, with a record release show at The Grape Room this Saturday, 10/10. The band details their music as “the sound of ‘76 filtered through the summer of ‘96,” which is an apt description considering the EP glimmers with shiny guitar riffs, poppy melodies, and tempos that are equal parts carefree and jittery.
Most of Kids You Knew is catchy, somewhat formulaic, and well-suited for the dance floor. Their tunes are straightforward, and characterized by driving verses, melodic choruses, and a fair fill of guitar solos. The opening track, “M.I.A.,” feels like it is straight out of the seventies, filled with poppy melodies, dual vocals, and shredding guitar licks. The song follows a simple structure, but its ending takes the chorus to an extreme with impassioned vocals and hard hitting drums. These moments come often on Kids You Knew, with their seventies influences coming through in softer, catchy deliveries, while the nineties influences shine through in the vibe and grit of the bolder moments. Even on their fastest track, “Lost Highway,” the verses glisten with relaxation, while the song’s introduction and chorus rage with distorted guitar and upbeat drums. Each song has its success in being thoughtful and catchy, but “Walk Away” might be the band’s most infectious mix of time periods. The crafty guitar riff opens up the song by creating a dancy feel alongside the drums, and vocalist Luke Bauerlein brings in high-pitched, soothing vocal takes. The song then erupts with a shout and shrieking guitar to lead in the standout chorus, which rages with piercing riffs, massive drums, and layers of hollering.
The Late Greats have created an interesting sound that is intriguingly reminiscent of bands of the seventies and nineties. Their music usually falls somewhere between carefree and nervous, and uses melody and guitar to propel songs and create encompassing atmospheres. Overall, Kids You Knew, is a fun listen because you can hear their influences, from The Replacements to The Clash and Dinosaur Jr., shine through in their own upbeat and charismatic songs.
See The Late Greats and pick up your copy of Kids You Knew this Saturday, October 10th, at The Grape Room in Manayunk. The night will also feature performances by Ridge Summit, The Heavy Weather, Red Means Run, and Jamie Shemanski (of Something Like A Monument). Get more information here, and in the meantime check out some of The Late Greats’ demos below.
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