My first experience with The Scene Aesthetic happened yesterday as I listened to their newest album Brother: The Deluxe Edition which features the EP Sister. Not quite sure what to expect I read the synopsis of the bands existence that came along with the press release and pressed play. The first song off the album Why Don’t We Try impressed me, a lot. The soft intro to the track reminded me of The Band or Van Morrison, just floating along but so well constructed you could listen to the backing music alone on repeat without getting bored. The vocalization of band members Eric Bowley and Andrew de Torres combined harmonize and apply their individual vocals in a nice meshed formula that makes the song more then just beautiful background music. There is a hint of what’s to come both negatively and positively but as it stands Why Don’t We Try remains the strongest track on the album.
Song two, Beauty In The Breakdown (New Version), unfortunately doesn’t do it for me as far as quality of vocals works out. It sounds so unrefined, so basic, so generically now. I’m always on the look for new talent and I spend a couple of hours a day on youtube checking out raw acoustic video’s of just everyday musicians who are looking to get their names out there and unfortunately a majority of them seem to cling to this type of vocal style. It comes off masked, as if we know it could be better, but just comes off as if the band is trying to deliver their message in the cutest way possible. It just doesn’t seem natural in any case. Another unfortunate aspect of the album is the fact that the band carries on like this in a majority of their album offering up mostly odes to love, coming through more potently on their acoustic versions towards the back end of the album.
There is a pop country feel to the album, which I’m not sure is intentional, but when the band hits on this country narrative type of delivery there’s more of a sense of meaning in their songs. Take for example the song Humans, which is yet another love song, but it feels directed instead of simply written. Vocal delivery here is more mature sounding and better formed. Following up on that there’s My Humility, You Are which is reminiscent of bands like The Refreshments and Everclear that doesn’t seem an ode to any certain category of music but simply a homage to music itself, the band just jamming along having fun playing. The album for the most part is a mixture of throw away tracks, tracks just for fun, and then some really really impressive tracks that seem well crafted. This album however represents a return from a hiatus for the band so who knows what’s to come. Obviously the band is in no threat of disappearing any time soon but from what I’ve witnessed here their sound is teetering on greatness, their just not exactly there yet. As always final judgment is yours. Enjoy.