Small Band in a Big World
The great thing about independent record labels is that they provide opportunities to smaller bands to share their music with a much larger audience. Such is the case with American Princes, whose album Little Spaces is brought forth by Yep Roc Records.Unfortunately, American Princes still carry the sound of a small-scene hometown garage band trying to fill overly large shoes. There are obvious influences right off the bat; Modest Mouse guitar lines, an attempt at a Kurt Cobain vocal style, lyrics modeled after bands like Interpol, etc. It seems as if they have a good idea of where they want to be and what they want to sound like: a grungy, indie-style band that can hold their own in the world of pop. It simply is not executed in the manner one would hope.
The vocals of David Slade and Collins Kilgore are strained and off-key in songs like “Rock n’ Roll Singer” which incorporates lots of squealing. The drum lines by Matt Quinn are simple with off-beat fills, manifested in songs like “Mans’ World.” The only song that is slightly enjoyable is the final track “Revolver,” a sweet and sad melody. Unfortunately it is poorly sung and played, killing any kinship with the song.
It’s too bad that American Princes aren’t able to pull off the brand of sound they aspire to produce. They have a chance to bring notoriety to a smaller label, giving opportunity to other lesser known bands. They need to refine their skills more before they can present it to a larger audience than a house party. Little Spaces is an unattractive underdog in a vast world of music.