We’ll be honest here. Any band being on Bandcamp and simultaneously advertising on ReverbNation gives us heebie-jeebies. Partly because once upon a time we were encouraged to make a feature contest there, and ReverbNation’s hundreds of submissions made it hard for us to pick even a few good songs. Quality was simply awful.
So with this bias, we’ve played Dark Places, the first song of a brand new EP by the D.C. based indie band The Frontier. Thankfully, we were pleasantly surprised! This is actually a top-notch indie pop tune with great fillers, good production, proper szlagworts, and dance-encouraging instrumental. What more can you ask?
Of course, one song doesn’t make the whole EP, so off we go to Magnetic, which is more of an indie rock tune with lo-fi processing of the vocals. It suited the song, but only because there was a good contrast with natural-sounding choruses. The pace-based song though didn’t felt much distinctive, at least not until the first chorus and following bridge, which had a very industrial-sounding concept. Still, our least favorite tune on the album.
Another indie pop gem fixed this. I Can’t Have You presented a similar level of indie pop goodness as the first song, except for the refrains. The minimalistic concept seemed to be a good one, but still, when enacting such, you need to remember to give it a little bit more character in the instrumental layer. Otherwise, it all feels repetitive. Same goes for the guitar solo that felt short of quality, and more of a “we have to put something there” type of filler. But taking into consideration the craft presented here, such problems felt like a short and mere occurrence and didn’t spoil the fun at all.
Shimmer on the other hand was a really nice introduction of the acoustic guitar-driven song. This almost county-sounding rock tune was indeed an anthemic experience. Starting slowly, just to give the emotional emphasis at the end. Also a delightful number on the EP
Our another favorite song (besides Dark Places) is I Hope I Don’t Die Today, with an occasional splash of the piano in certain parts, and great and memorable refrains, with tempo and mood change, that really kept us interested in hearing this song back-to-back. No skipping man. No skipping.
Overall, despite a few shortcomings, that are nothing more than a fault of personal taste, Luminescence is conceptually a very solid and versatile EP. Each and every song can be considered a single material, which is definitely not something easy to create. The Frontier seems like a band that knows their craft, and it shows.