A lot of good decisions were made ahead of Night Terrors Of 1927‘s first full-length release. Two EPs and constant touring preceded this album, keeping old Rilo Kiley and The Honorary Title fans interested while the new band gathered new admirers. Here in Chicago they played at least three times in 2014, opening for The Colourist at the intimate venue Schubas before returning to some of the bigger halls in the city. They opened for Capital Cities at The Riviera, and they’ll return to that same location on April 1st when they open for Bleachers. On top of the astute strategy of audience-building, they also have avoided the pressure of doing too much too soon. Half of the full-length is made up of songs that appear on either of the EP’s-a trend that’s been going on for a few years and I’ve come to terms with.
Kicking off Everything’s Coming Up Roses with “Dust And Bones,” the lead track off 2013’s Guilty Pleas, is perfect. It gives the fans exactly what they want and offers a pretty good introduction to the band for the uninitiated. If you’re coming in expecting the bedroom pop of Blake Sennett’s The Elected, or the alt-country tinge of The Honorary Title, you may be in for a bit of a surprise. Instead of relying on the strengths we know them for, Sennett and Gorbels come together to perform epic love songs and danceable pop built to fill arenas and throw a party.
The quality of songs never really dips, which makes choosing favorites to highlight a bit tougher than usual. One tune that I really like is “Shine.” They played a version of this one when I saw them at Schubas, and it didn’t seem like it was received as warmly as it could have been. It is a bit more simple than some of the other songs, and not quite on the level of “Fall Into You,” which is sadly missing from this collection. Something about it has stuck with me, though; and I think a lot of people that hear the album will gravitate toward the track because it varies from the pop tilt of tracks like the Tegan & Sara-featuring “When You Were Mine.”
The album seems to take a great deal of influence from The Killers, with big drums, synths, and harmonies. They succeed most when the tempo stays controlled, allowing Gorbel to savor every note he sings. The backup singers also contribute a lot to the overall sound of this record, adding some textural depth and taking the main vocals from bittersweet to sugary bliss.
I’ve been talking about Night Terrors Of 1927 since mid-2013, so I hope that Everything’s Coming Up Roses pushes them to the next level. They have a great pedigree behind them, but I think Sennett and Gorbel still have a ton of amazing music to write. You can check out the band’s 2013 and 2014 releases on Spotify right now, ahead of the new album’s release. The tour with Bleachers gets going on March 23rd in Vancouver-you can find ticket info here.