Over the last two years, Gary Reynolds and the Brides of Obscurity have been busy, releasing their debut in 2006, an EP at the beginning of 2007, and a second album near the end of 2007. Reynolds and the band, however, decided to try something different for Santiago's Vest, recording it as a studio album in the literal sense. "We got together and learned the songs in the studio, mainly aiming to keep only the drums and bass," Reynolds noted on the band's website. "Then we made up parts and added colors." The album is also a studio album in the sense that it leans toward classic pop from the '70s, the kind of music, when it all comes together, that makes the listener feel dreamy. Reynolds marries this sensibility to singer/songwriter lyrics, adding a bit of depth to songs like "Capital State" and "Everybody's Somewhere." The latter song in particular sounds like something NRBQ might have recorded back in the day, an easy floating pop song with quirky keyboards and a fun guitar part. Added harmony on the choruses, courtesy of the Brides of Obscurity, kicks everything into high gear. Santiago's Vest is at its strongest when these elements come together. "Wall Eyed Girl" is another nice cut, creating a nice blend of intelligent pop.
AllMusic Review by Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.