You could say there are steps to becoming a band. There’s finding the people and the instruments, writing and practicing the songs, learning to play them in front of a crowd, and the big one, recording an album. Lawrence band, Quiet Corral have taken that step now with its Quiet Corral EP. They didn’t take that step lightly or hesitantly either. This EP is a confident rocker from the start. Consisting of seven songs, some of which they’ve played live for months, the work is brief. However, that brevity allows this young band to carefully craft an album that draws on the emotions of a live performance, channeling that energy while adding a thoughtful lushness to the sound.
There really isn’t a weak song on this album. “Thieves” sets the tone for Braswell Roberts’ upbeat visual poetry. He demonstrates the versatility of his trembling vocals, especially on “Fly Bird, Fly”. Lyrically, Quiet Corral is extremely talented, but I found the most powerful parts of the album to be the repetitive chants, filled out by the roar of the instruments. “Reverie” and “Lonely Company” have been concert favorites for a while now, and they don’t lose any of their charm on this album, thanks to excellent production.
The album cover immediately called to mind Grizzly Bear, with its turn-of-the-century indie style, and I can see sense the band’s influence in terms of production, but Quiet Corral is far more poetic and folky. Finale, “One, Two, Three Oh” is the perfect closer. Its bells and dreamy choir beneath Roberts’ voice send the listener off wanting more, but moved by the what they’ve just consumed. This EP is a tremendous first effort from a band that had already proven themselves as a live act. One listen to this album and you begin to recognize all there is to appreciate in these songs. Two or twenty listens later, and you’re still discovering.