Gentlemen and Scholars - The Fault
Record Label: Torque Records
Release Date: October 27, 2009
Gentlemen and Scholars, the six-piece band from Evansville, Indiana, seem to be built around the idea of mixing as many genres as possible into their music. Hard punk songs are contrasted by piano ballads, southern rock numbers and even energetic post-hardcore influenced tunes. And while such diversity would cause most bands to appear scattered and all over the place, Gentlemen and Scholars achieve a strong sense of identity while continuing to experiment.
The Fault is the band's sophomore full length, and the band continues its mix of nu-metal, punk, rock and roll, and emo in an interesting and well thought out fashion. Starting out the album with Wes Beach's screams and heavily distorted guitars, "We're Outta Here '89" is a high energy, punkish style jam, perfect to open the album. The next track, "The Mason," contrasts the opener by slowing the pace down slightly, and adding more poppy piano and drumming. The song packs a catchy chorus, a bouncy and memorable bassline, and an impressive guitar solo to end the track.
The variety in the music doesn't stop there. The band throws in dark, brooding melodies ("Make Me Better Better"), annoyingly catchy hooks ("Fire Add Water" and "Miss Louise") beautiful piano ballads ("Vanity") and upbeat rockers ("High Heels Low Lifes" and "Madman Nash"). There is such a mixture of styles involved that it would be hard to find a user of this website that wouldn't like at least one song on The Fault.
What's intriguing about the album, though, and really, what makes it worthwhile, is that the band sounds like themselves the entire record. Instead of relying on borrowing from their vast range of influences, Gentlemen and Scholars infuse their own elements into each song. As diverse an album as it is, the listener can still hear the constant emotion and energy that fills the album. Beach sings with a raw, impassioned edge, and the band backs him up perfectly.
Overall, The Fault is a success. The variance in the music is more than enough to keep the listener interested, and the band stays just true enough to themselves to maintain that entertaining, emotional atmosphere. The album is an extremely good listen, and the band definitely shows potential to be pretty big in this scene, however unconventional they may be.