I'm jealous of the residents of Maryland. Ive been apart of a few different local scenes over the years in Jersey and Delaware and they've been mostly full of sloppy, derivative, and some what shitty bands. Yet you sometimes find a gem. A Garden Overgrown is one of those gems. Armed with a solid 35 minuete release, these guys should rise to the top of the local MD scene and beyond.
While obvious inspiration for AGO comes from bands like Explosions in The Sky and Thursday, they find ways to keep The Lost Art of Conversation from being a pure tribute to the post rock and emo trail blazers. Album opener "Go, Mordecai!" lies closest to EITS territory with their use of the common post rock tools of reverb, sleigh bells, and gradual crescendos. "Starboard" branches out to a more indie/emo sound with more of a focus on the revebed out and almost Geoff Rickley reminesent vocals. Album midpoint "Cassini Division", while still in character with the rest of the record, brings a welcomed change of pace with the use of minor keys, distortion and screamed vocals. Album closer "With Enless Love, We Left You Sleeping" has a more spacy vibe complete with a perfect spoken word intro before rising to a dramatic conclusion.
The Lost Art of Conversation is solid first outing for A Garden Overgrown with only a few drawbacks that are to be expected with any new band. The songs can sound a bit derivative at times, lying very close to their aforementioned influences. There are some moments that could be mistaken for an EITS record. The other drawback for me comes in the mixing of the vocals. While the album sports quality production with excellent instrument tones, the vocals are a bit low in the mix at times and have a bit too much reverb for my taste. This can make it somewhat difficult to decipher the lyrics.
All in all, this album is a great introduction to a new band and works very well on repeat listens. A Garden Overgrown is off to a good start and it should be fun to see them grow and develop.