RATING: 9.5 / 10
Genre: Rock, Pop, Alternative
Songwriting: 9.5 | Music: 10 | Vocals: 9
Location: Baltimore, MD
For Fans Of: X Ambassadors, The 1975, The Killers
Release Date: August 5, 2016
Charm City alternative rockers FIVES have released what may be the best end of summer alternative rock EPs with, Heart & Thunder. Band members Marc Cashin (vox, guitar), Matthew White (keys, vox), Nate Lanzino (vox, guitar), Jake Tate (bass), and Billy Toti (drums) are on their way to a stellar music career if they stick together and weather the turbulence that is the indie music world. One listen to Heart & Thunder and you’ll know what I mean.
LYRICALLY: The song melodies are stellar, but the lyrics are even better. Throughout the entire EP we hear FIVES focusing on the various ways we as humans show our love for one another. Whether its eros, agape, philia, or storge, Heart & Thunder delves into the deep complexities of our emotions and how they are affected by the experiences we share with those we choose to do life with. While I like all of the songs on this EP, my favorite in the songwriting department is “My Gravity” because, it touches on the ups and downs, the fears and doubts, and the willingness to go through the flames if it means we can remain in connection with the ones we love. This shows the depth of the writer’s thoughts, and their fearlessness when it comes to being vulnerable and confessing his imperfections. “My Gravity” is a very well written song by FIVES.
MUSICALLY: As a record producer and musician, this is the area in which I am often the most critical of bands. But, to tell you the truth…I absolutely dig the entire release’s production. Every track is upbeat, and from the compositions and musicianship to the final mixes and sound design, you get nothing but extreme professionalism. I have nothing but praises to sing about FIVES for their work in this area on Heart & Thunder, and I doubt that any serious music fan or musician – regardless of personal preferences – will find blaring flaws in this EP’s production.
VOCALLY: The vocal performances given by Marc, Matthew, and Nate are just as good as any Grammy-winning alternative rock band we’ve seen. The lead vocalist delivers every song in the right tone for the subject matter, and the backing vocals are well produced and performed. I would be lying if I said that you’re going to be blown away by the vocal range of the singers in FIVES, but I’d also be remiss if I didn’t say that these guys are still pretty dang good.
Check out the EP here and be sure to buy the release to show your support for such an awesome band.