EP Review: Reservoir – “Cicurina Vol. 1”

Reservoir are a band who wear their influences right out on their sleeve. Like right out there.  They dig the older emo stuff and aren’t afraid to show it. This is quite apparent on the latest release from the Pennsylvanian 4 piece which is an EP titled Cicurina Vol.1. It’s available as a single sided 12” or digital download through Glory Kid Records. You get 4 tracks for your money and they range from 4-6 minutes long so this is a solid piece of work.

The blurb which accompanies this release references early 90’s emo bands and post-rock giants Explosions in the Sky as ingredients in the mix for what band has cooked up and yeah… that’s a good summary. To my ears this band is on a road well travelled and worn by the likes of Appleseed Cast, Pedro The Lion, Balance and Composure, Jimmy Eat World, Moneen, and a dozen more you’ll think of for yourself as you listen to it.

Here’s the interesting thing though… it’s great. No really, it’s actually quite enjoyable, oddly familiar and nostalgic (if you’re old enough!) and above all: well executed. You could fool someone to think this is a Deep Elm release from like 15 years ago. Easily.

The opening track “Breathe Disaster” starts with some pretty nice jangly chords and understated picking which leaves most of the energy to come from the drums playing at full volume and a nice solid bass line that cuts through the mix to do the rest of the work introducing the melody. It’s a formula which legendary post-rock/emo outfit Appleseed Cats popularised in the early 00’s. Vocals are minimal at first with just a few lines here and there, not too prominent and more of an element than a feature for this track..that is until the mid section. As the song develops (over 6 minutes) the dynamics build and shift to a colourful and emotive crescendo not unlike what Balance and Composure are known for. There’s some stop-start moments leading into a great big instrumental section and when the track comes to a close there’s about minute of these beautiful soft guitar swells, dripping with reverb finding an ambient transition into the next song. So good.

As a reviewer it’s probably poor taste to reference so many other artists when it’s supposed to be a write up about Reservoir but I simply cant avoid the numerous similarities and the pure fun of what they have created here! The material has enough replay value to bring listeners back for another spin and with each turn something new stands out that went unnoticed previously. There’s layers to this beyond the immediate novelty and appeal of a new-band-that-sounds-old which will reward the keen ear.

Definitely, definitely check this out!!

4 /5

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