By Mickey Splvin
Angelic is far from what you may call Saratoga Spring’s Angels on the Fourth.
The band’s name is said to have originated from an encounter its lead singer had with a flying bat on the fourth floor of the “haunted” Adelphi Hotel in the Spa City. Grungy, on the other hand, may be more appropriate.
On its recently dropped debut, Angels’ five-track EP is a throwback to the alternative scene of the ‘90s, and that’s no mistake. This five-band, comprised of Kane Grogan (vocals), Brad Thibodeau (guitar), Dustin Alexander (bass), Marc Montano (drums) and Jeff Ayers (violin and keyboard)is influenced by the distorted guitars and bass from ‘90s grunge. But, it’s part punk, stadium rock and maybe a little Neil Young, too.
The title track delivers on conjuring up that yesteryear sound. And, as the opening track, the lyrics set the tone as for the rest of the subject matter for the EP.
“Waits around, for someone to take her from this place / Another nose bleed, halfcocked, she’s just bugged eyed / Good things come to those who wait, but they’ve been up for six days straight.”
No Telly Tubbie feel good inspiration coming from out of here.
Angels debuted its single “Everytime” on WEQX several months back. Dave Gutter’s (of Rustic Overtones) melodic delivery of his back-up vocals contrasts to Kane Grogan’s off-kilter style, reminiscent of Neil Young. The album features yet another guest artist in MaryLeigh Roohan. Roohan’s featured cameo on “It’s the End of the World (Again)” provides haunting vocals that, combined with Ayer’s violin play, makes for a well crafted track that’s not as overwhelmingly apocalyptic as the title suggests.
Ayer’s violin serves as a bit of a wild card throughout the album, keeping Angels from sounding too much like a homage to Seattle. And, that’s not to imply “Breaking Skin” is nothing but a grunge album. Angels goes into a jamming punk tune with “Jaded,” the album’s second track. Though limited to just the five tracks, the band demonstrates enough versatility throughout the EP. Grogan’s vocal delivery is initially unsettling, but in the end, comes across as genuine. “Breaking Skin” earns a nod to be background music while kicking back a few beers with friends, but unlike some of the drivel that passed as popular music in the ‘90s, its lyrics are worth a read as you listen in private, too.