Navy Skies

The New War EP

Written by: PP on 04/12/2014 22:26:07

Toronto based Navy Skies are one of those bands where you listen to them for the first time and go "dat voice" to use a colloquial term here. Vocalist Travis Caine owns a set of pipes quite incredible indeed, drawing parallels to the likes of Brian Fallon (The Gaslight Anthem), Chuck Ragan (Hot Water Music), and Cory Call (Arliss Nancy) through his hoarse, but passionate croon that feels best described as belong to the Great American Rock Song category of singers despite the band being Canadian. Soulful, emotional and absolutely convincing, he is the single reason you should be listening to Navy Skies and their latest EP "The New War", where he takes you through a back-chilling vocal performance that basically reduces the remainder of the band into a role of extras throughout the EP.

Not that the instrumentation isn't equally ambitious in its own right. Piano melodies and violins are all used to achieve a sense of ambition that would be lacking from mere guitar riffs and basic bass on the background, but unfortunately the DIY style, low-key production means the highlight isn't placed in the right places so the only thing coming across making a strong impression is Caine's great vocals. Occasionally, the band's keyboardist/pianist Kara Gauthier adds her soothing female vocals as a contrasting element, which works quite well all things considered. Her parts draw the band closer towards The Hold Steady particularly on "Kings & Queens" which shares a similar atmosphere to the organ-supported sailor-style ramblings of Craig Finn. Still, the band closest to Navy Skies is The Gaslight Anthem because of the Springsteen-esque vibe, yet in the end it still feels like Caine is being under-utilized compared to the instrumental melodies present on the record. Having him front a more established folksy but Americana-driven rock band would no doubt result into a major breakthrough. But who knows, maybe with a better production the rest of the soundscape would impress as well. For now, the lo-fi, budget production means only Caine's vocals are worth truly highlighting here.

6

Download: New War, Kings & Queens
For the fans of: The Gaslight Anthem, Hot Water Music, The Cold Beat, The Hold Steady, Arliss Nancy
Listen: Facebook

Release date 08.04.2014
Self-Released

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