It’s been 3 years since Sound & Shape’s last release, Bad Actors. The Nashvillians return with Peasants on March 24th. The 5-song EP is another step up for the rock band who have been working their way toward mainstream popularity for almost a decade. Peasants is easily their most accessible work, with passages reminiscent of everything from Queens Of The Stone Age to Steely Dan.
The anthemic opener “Dandelion” sets the stage for a sadly-too-quick jaunt showcase of the band’s talents. Lead singer Ryan Caudle has a smoothness to his voice that betrays the amplitude to which they rock. Oftentimes there is a sweet melody that doesn’t seem to fit with some of the other music around it, but like Caudle’s vocals, they work in the context of the song.
“Patchwork Heroes” has a lot of the same vibe you find in some of Foo Fighters more popular work, so I guess that’s the band I would most compare them to, except you haven’t seen them everywhere commenting on every topic that happens anywhere in music, so you might find their faces a little less punchable. The drumming, by Grant Bramlett, throughout the record really does remind me of Taylor Hawkins, so I think that is a fair comparison.
The production quality on Peasants is a step up from Bad Actors, which adds to the radio-ready sound. The guitar runs that fill some of the quiet spaces are noticeable but don’t dominate the other instruments, which I appreciate. But when it’s time for the lead guitar to really step forward and become the focal point, they give it all the attention it needs to shine bright.
If you haven’t heard Sound & Shape at all, this is going to be a great spot to start. It’s always fun to hear a band’s best work and then go back and see how they got there. You can pre-order Peasants here.