The Epochs

The Epochs

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Subtlety should be the Epochs middle name, for across their eponymous album, the group carefully craft an intricate set of gorgeous, subtle songs, mostly in a poppy mode. Both the lavish "Picture of the Sun" and the effervescent "Stand Up & Be Counted," a number gently washed in a '60s style, capture the group at their pop best. But that's only the icing on this sumptuous cake.

The infectious "Love Complete" defies easy generational divides, its muscular beats and powerful organ counterpointed by lush strings and a giddy, irrepressible melody. If George Michael's "Faith" was retooled by Giorgio Moroder, then given a modern remix, it might sound nearly as good as this. And if that's amazing, what the Epochs do with soul, blues, and R&B is sheer brilliance. Pop-soul vocals splay across "Opposite Sides," although it's the ever changing beats that drive the song, while the ambient electronica shades the atmosphere. Soul also infuses "Mister Fog," a pizzicato kind of number that counterintuitively is as smoky as its title. R&B initially swaggers across the fabulous "Right On" before the band sashay into electronica, then swirl in moody Spanish guitar. Before they're done, the Epochs not only rock out, but weave in lush string passages and glowing organ solos, creating an epic of a song.

"Tug of War" is equally complex. The song begins with folky, finger-snapping blues, but quickly stir in arpeggios of electric guitar. Jumping off the porch and into the arena, the Epochs storm into hard rock circa the late '60s before ending the number with an evocative soft hum.

From classic rock tinged with grunge, to folksy Americana enveloped in warm strings, the band's eclecticism knows no bounds. However, the superb stick-work, delicate keyboards, potent basslines, genre bending guitars, and sweet, soaring vocals hold this stunning set together, along with the memorable pop flecked melodies that remain the band's signature.

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