Independent Spotlight is a continuing series on Stewart’s blog. The series revolves around independent artists and bands sending their music to Brett to review. No band is promised a positive review, and all music is reviewed honestly in an effort to better independent music.
In this morning’s edition of the Independent Spotlight, we’re going to be shining our gaze onto Resilient, an indie rock outfit from Philadelphia with a new EP dropping today. Entitled ‘Imagining Things,’ the endeavor is seven songs of self-described “fizzrock.” The collection was produced independently by the band in a small rehearsal space with no outside funding or label. Is the record any good? Let’s find out.
It’s always nice to see a good rock act fronted by a woman. Lead vocalist and guitarist Erin Fox commands a wonderful presence over her sound, and the opening of the album, ‘Devil’s in the Details,’ is a superb excursion through that. The hard-hitting track is doused in alternative rock and pop influence, and Fox’s personality infuses it with an infectiously unforgettable atmosphere.
‘Imagining Things’ has a very organic feel to it, which works for it and against it simultaneously. The DIY production shows on songs like ‘No Show’ where Fox’s voice distorts when she digs her feet into a note. At times, the heavy dose of reverb on every piece of instrumentation is excessive, too. That said, it does give it a very ‘live’ sound. There is an authenticity to the rawness of the sound.
Buckminster Kellorgg, the lead guitarist, boasts his prowess on every track. Tracks like the titular tune are reminiscent of outfits like The Cranberries, though I’d argue ‘Imagining Things,’ the song, is one of the weaker points of the album. Its sound clusters very quickly, and the song gets lost in its own experimentation.
‘Not Gonna Be’ offers a more cohesive execution, and starts to really flesh out the sonic quality of the album. For an album recorded with the bare essentials, tracks like ‘Not Gonna Be’ are quite bombastic. There’s a lot going on in the sound, which was a bit much on ‘Imagining Things,’ but rather complimentary on ‘Not Gonna Be.’
‘I’m Onto You,’ especially in contrast to some of its predecessors, is a laser-honed execution. This is one hell of a track, with remarkably interesting instrumentation akin to a modern Mini Mansions sound or the like. There’s an eerie, even cinematic atmosphere to this production, and goodness, it works for it.
‘For Nothing’ is a fuzzy, garagey jaunt through distortion and emotion. Again, Kellorgg acts as a huge catalyst for propelling the sound forward, which Fox then seizes with elegant intensity. The percussion, performed by Katie, Fox’s sister, is worth shouting out, too. Especially on the finale, ‘Worth the Fall,’ Katie shines as a passionate drummer. (Something that comes through in the recordings.)
There isn’t anything to not dig about ‘Imagining Things.’ It has its productional potholes, sure, but they’re paired with a musical kinship and eclecticism that more than repairs those minor damages. There are a few points on the album where the band's enthusiasm probably gets ahead of them, too, and the sound gets a bit hard to contain. But... it's great all the same. I’d *love* to see Resilient in the hands of a good producer in-studio. At the very least, this EP is a compelling argument for that happening in the future.