Artist Spotlight

Review: Rhino House Band, “Golden Summer”

No Comments 4 May 2014

Review: Rhino House Band, “Golden Summer”

“Rhino House Band are modern rockers with a classic storytelling vibe. There is something endearing and intriguing at work with this band, and it will be a pleasure to see where they head from here. “

Artist: Rhino House Band

EP: Golden Summer

Genre: Pop / Rock

RIYL: Phantom Planet, Weezer, Buffalo Tom

Rhino House Band

Rhino House Band - a three-piece consisting of Ricky Demetro (vocals, guitar), Steven Bartashev (drums), and Joey Vergara (bass) - comes to us from Brooklyn seemingly by way of Southern California. Indeed, this power pop trio has a tendency to mix the east and the west coast sounds with a remarkably easy sound that works well on their new EP, Golden Summer.

“Little Things” kicks off the EP with a bittersweet lyrical trip that recalls lost days of youth and a reality check.  “James’ Song” is where things get really interesting, and where Rhino House Band got their hooks (literally) into me. It’s a bold, confident mix of fuzzpop, surfrock with a lazy vibe that grooves and builds in perfect time. It reminded me most readily of Phantom Planet - both vocally and lyrically - taking a vulnerable and slightly dark turn underneath the urgent guitar work and climactic end. “Charlie” builds off the end of that track with a similar vibe that capitalizes on background harmonies

The final two tracks on Golden Summer definitely take a departure, and they do show a versatility that’s an interesting contrast to the more California pop aesthetic that precedes them. “Dirty Hobo,” in fact, feels more at home on a record from another decade, boasting a political bent underneath a peppy melody. At times it felt a bit like a musical number, and it would make an interesting study to see how this song itself evolves in live performances. “Stopping in the City” is an interesting, and obvious, choice as a closing statement. There is a dreamy disparate kind of heartbreak in the lyrics, but an oddly hopeful tone that makes me want to believe our songwriter will find that love again. This is the strongest track on the record, loaded with great lines like “The Q train hustles down to Union / you know that I am happy in spite of my confusion but I / I’m thinking clearer than you.”

What’s most interesting about the Golden Summer EP is the very tangible emotions that are channeled into the creation of each and every song. There’s disappointment, disenchantment, disdain, disgust and heartbreak. Rhino House Band are modern rockers with a classic storytelling vibe. There is something endearing and intriguing at work with this band, and it will be a pleasure to see where they head from here.


Rhino House Band website: http://rhinohouseband.com/

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