Gospel Claws - Gospel Claws EP
Record Label: Common Wall Media
Release Date: February 16, 2009
It's always a huge loss when a founding member of a band decides to call it quits in order to pursue other interests that life has to offer. Joel Marquard, original guitarist of Dear and the Headlights, left the band in September 2007 due to an excessive amount of touring. After hearing the news, I was quite bummed out, since he played such a huge role in creating Small Steps, Heavy Hooves. However, die-hard fans of the band no longer have a reason to worry. Joel Marquard is back, and sounding better than ever with his new band, Gospel Claws.
With influences ranging from early classic rock to old-school slow jams, the five-piece from Arizona have released a well crafted self-titled EP that is sure to generate buzz before the release of their upcoming full length album.“God Keeps Me Alive” kicks off the EP with one of the most memorable tracks to be found on the disc. With catchy hooks, impressive instrumentation, and solid harmonies, what more can you ask for?
“Sing, Dance” is a simple dancy tune that will make you excessively tap your feet and bob your head. Although it’s the shortest song on the EP (clocking in at 2 minutes and 34 seconds), it gets straight to the point and never slows down. On the next two tracks, titled “You Got It Bad” and “Lost At Sea”, the band begins to display their newfound influences. It sounds like the band has been listening to a lot of blues while creating these tracks.
Closing track, “Don’t Let It Die”, is a huge departure from the overall sound of the EP. However, this may be one of the best songs that the band has written. It sounds like it would fit perfectly on a Portugal. The Man album. With soulful vocals and a heavy call-and-response approach that yells out “Don’t let it die. Don’t let it die. My Lord, my Lord, don’t let it die… don’t let my spirit die!,” it ends the EP on a very strong note.
For a debut release, it’s extremely impressive to hear something so refreshing within today’s music scene. Not one filler track can be found on here. Although the EP feels rather short, it’s an interesting way to introduce the band to new listeners. If bands like Gospel Claws received more attention than all the new trendy neon pop bands out today, I would have more faith in the future of music.