Album Review: Reservoir – “Demo”

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Pennsylvania-based unsigned four-piece Reservoir released their debut EP, entitled “Demo,” last month. The album consists of four tracks of metal-inspired, melodic post-hardcore in the same vain as Small Brown Bike or early Avail. Dueling vocalists alternate turns singing and growling. Both vocalists have decent enough singing voices, though the main “singer” doesn’t use it as much as he should for my liking – his ‘shouting’ voice isn’t nearly as strong. The “shouter” has a sound that is not unlike early, Bruisers-era Al Barr. As for the individual tracks:

“Forging” – could do without the “microphone at the end of the hall” vocals in the intro, but that quickly goes away.  Dueling growlers singing “we’re looking for romance” reeks of unintentional comedy. This song definitely grew on me.

“Gone” – fairly catchy song, though it sounds like the band couldn’t determine if they wanted to focus on the singing or the shouting in this one, and perhaps would have been better served to stick with one rather than the other.

“Still” – a little more singing in the verses than in the album’s other tracks, which is a good thing. Musically it changes sounds a few time, which comes off a little sloppy in the pre-chorus (musically that is the only real misstep), but the main riffs are tight. A well-crafted song that highlights all of the strengths of the band. With a little polish, this song could really shine. A glimpse of things to come from Reservoir, I’d hope.

“Too Blind To See” – probably the musical high-water mark of the album. Suffers from the choice to opt for growling rather than singing in the first verse primarily, though this switches for later verses. (is the whole singing vs. growling thing making me sound old or what?).

Musically, the album is pretty solid, though if it suffers from anything it is from that which a lot of younger bands suffer from on early releases: trying to meld too many styles and influences into one song. This album has grown on me a lot since I first listened to it, and while it still isn’t my favorite, it shows that Reservoir know what they are doing, and if they can focus their sound a little, expect big things from them going forward.

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