Gentlemen and Scholars - The Record, the Keepsake, and the Thief
Record Label: Unsigned
Release Date: March 2, 2008
The mixture of emo-sleek vocals, classic piano and shots of nu metal seem like completely polarizing components, but when rock music’s Gentlemen and Scholars bring these together, it forms a cohesive entity that is unmatched by others of the nu metal ilk. The band’s latest release The Record, the Keepsake, and the Thief is a strong statement in favor of the reaction that nu metal/post hardcore, relatable to The Receiving End of Sirens, has to classic piano’s exuberance. It gives hardcore a sophistication and symphonic pitch that keeps it alive and meaningful for upcoming generations of rock.
The elegant piano lines of backup vocalist Mike Brady in songs like “After Me Comes the Flood,” “Introduction,” “Termius Semita (An Outroduction),” and the title track act as shock absorbers for the velvety threads of Wes Beach’s voice, which furls and elongates like the suave wrist action of an illusionist. The flustering guitar riffs produced by Adam Noblett and Patrick Brady create series of vortexes entrusted to subterfuge suctions made by bassist Jeremiah Galey and drummer Kyle Burchett in songs like “Chemistry,” “Nature Boy,” and “Anchoring the Ages.” The flusters rise to symphonic reams which push Beach’s vocals to fight the tide and entice the listener to push with him. The lyrics draw this struggle out particularly in “Anchoring the Ages” when Beach besieges, “Oh Captain, I’ve see it / This ship will be our tomb / I’ll tell the men to swim towards shore / This ship will be your tomb / Swimming in disaster / Counting rifts and countless gifts / But I can’t, I can’t.” In a profound way, the lyrics mirror the hard economic times of today, and the struggle that people are facing currently.
Gentlemen and Scholars also offer two tracks, “Depression in Rotation” and “Me, God and Freddie Mercury,” with acoustic rock traction and breaks hankered down by nu metal clamps. But the band’s strength lies in their skill for making quaking nu metal riffs with swells of classic piano and ventilations of emo-singed vibrations which peal through tracks like “Deviant Pilot and the Crash Course,” “Nevada is the New California,” and “Witnessing the Departure (All Roads Lead to the Casino).” These melodic entities have reflections of The Last Goodnight, and a vocal breadth with the range of Cary Brothers.
Gentlemen and Scholars album The Record, the Keepsake, and the Thief course through a wide stretch of terrain that all manage to segue into each other as if it was tilled by the same maker. The album has swigs of stately piano reels fitted into hard rock molds in a way that few bands attempt. It is what makes Gentlemen and Scholars album unconventional, and yet, it gives the band an identity that has the potential to captivate audiences and keep them enthralled.