Dinner and A Suit - Since Our Departure
Release Date: August 30, 2011
Record Label: Unsigned
Consider the entire world of music. Consider all the ethnic and cultural music that you will never hear, made in countries you will never visit. Consider all the different genres of music across the globe. As you’re doing this, doesn’t our own music scene seem a lot less diverse? Doesn’t it seem like you could clump our little part of the pie into a tiny corner?
Taking that into account, is it not an astonishing trait that only a slight tweak to a well-known formula can be the difference between a record you love and a record you overlook? Open the door and welcome in Dinner and A Suit, a three-piece outfit out of Nashville, TN, that takes a predictable formula and makes it their own on their debut full-length Since Our Departure. The twangy guitars and piano parts that drive Dinner and A Suit’s atmospheric brand of poppy indie rock are certainly not new or innovative techniques, but the band presents them in a way that is instantly as accessible as it is creative and warm.
Opener “Love Is Risky” does nothing but set the tone for Since Our Departure – and it does this in the best way possible. A danceable guitar riff kicks things off, but the verses aren’t exactly what you’d expect after hearing said riff. Perhaps more mellow than the riff should foreshadow, the verse leads into an equally rhythmic and soaring chorus. In an abbreviated nutshell, that describes the core of Dinner and A Suit’s sound, and the best part is that listeners can expect a similar pattern throughout the entire 10 tracks of Since Our Departure. On the opening track, it’s hard to not become immediately addicted to Jonathon Capeci’s vocals when he sings, “There’s no way of knowing if we will be let down / But we can’t let the fear of falling keep us on the ground / The consequence of trying is we may be let down / It was better to have flown than to have never left the ground / Love is always worth the risk.”
That last paragraph shouldn’t give you the impression that the record is too much of the same, repetitive style, though. On the standout first half of the album, we are exposed to the piano-led “Too Late” – a track that will inevitably draw comparisons to The Fray. Side A also features album standout “Where We Started,” which happens to give Since Our Departure its name. Capeci shines brighter than ever on this track, and it’s a song like this that makes it easy to hope this band can explode and end up an immense mainstream favorite. “It’s Not Over” starts slow, but manages to crescendo into a whirlwind repeated chorus, while the closing “Seeing Clearly” ends the record on a very poppy, dancey note.
The most key aspect of Since Our Departure is that Dinner and A Suit makes sure to avoid the cheesiness often associated with music like this. The band proves on this full-length that it can pen explosively catchy pop songs without sacrificing lyrical content or dumbing down the music. Since Our Departure isn’t the most complex record you’ll hear in 2011 from a musicianship standpoint, but it certainly holds its own in the genre. It’s these qualities all meshed together that make Dinner and A Suit stand out from the crowd – it’s these qualities that make Since Our Departure required listening instead of a record you might occasionally pass over.
Saw them at Warped 2 years ago. I was actually talking to the guitarist of Closure in Moscow and he said follow me to this stage. We were at a side stage and about 6 people were watching DaAS. He said, "These guys will be pretty big someday". Hopefully he's right. These guys are talented and catchy.