The rock/pop mix of Chicago’s The Locals is instantly appealing on this new album, Minutes, Seconds, Degrees – a clean production, melodic guitars with a solid rhythm and tight harmonies – music, in its current form, needs more of this. Although a trio, the band has a full sound and it’s a perfect balance between radio-friendliness and not-your-standard fare.
The opening track (and video below), “Time Bomb Sounds” is catchy and could easily have a place on modern radio – that big, grabbing sound that will attract new fans; “Eyes Wide Open” is a late-’80’s throwback (of sorts) – that hooky, driving “post R.E.M.” sound that I used to gravitate towards naturally; Yvonne Doll’s vocals (doubling with tight self-harmonies) are moving and powerful and they utilize the classic verse/bridge/chorus to great effect. “Willful Suspension Of Disbelief” is something feels influenced (rightly or wrongly) by the aforementioned R.E.M.’s New Adventures In Hi-Fi, but with much more width – a dramatic, fully-colored track that’s easily the album’s high point – this is what I often refer to as “cinematic” (and listen to those tasteful synthesizer embellishments). “Keep The Ghosts” is another uptempo piece that I can visualize – and I love how it offers the quiet/loud/quiet motif, used in the right way and “Try” has the most delicious, shimmering and subtle acoustic guitar underwave, fleshing out a breakneck pace.
This is quality – nine songs with no low points – The Locals have done themselves proud with this album. In a current landscape with nothing to offer, this collection of songs brings hope to those who want punchy, powerful and well-structured rock & roll.
Minutes, Seconds, Degrees is currently available