The Family Crest – Pride
In the world of indie and alternative music, it’s sometimes hard to find something new or at least interesting. Formulas tend to be repeated, and repeating formulas tend to be dull. That’s true of all music. Enter The Family Crest, which formulates a custom brew of indie-pop-rock that will both keep you moving and keep you interested. Pride (seen/heard here) is actually a single from October 2020, but the band is poised to release their latest LP in a series The War: Act II, due out May 20, 2022, and Pride figures prominently in that release.
Having released The War: Act I back in 2018, this next in the series finds a band self-assured in their sound and their place in the world of music. To be clear, The War (series) is not necessarily about an actual war. It’s about the conflicts that humans face in their day-to-day lives. Those might be relationship-based, job-based, really anything that causes personal trauma. That’s a long list, and the band acknowledges this by following up the twelve tracks on The War: Act I, with twelve more tracks that promise to be just as stunning and artfully created as its predecessor. Don’t expect the musical influences to be something wrapped up in a neat package. The Family Crest tends to blend genres, musical types, and musical influences. Expect, too, a wall of sound and orchestration that is majestic and full.
Part of that is due to the band personnel, which is as diverse instrumentally as the material. Founder and front-man, Liam McCormick (guitar and vocal) conceived the concept of this series of music clear back in 2009 with co-founder and bassist John Seeterlin. Bandmates include Anthony Franceschi (drums, percussion), Laura Bergmann (flute, vocals, percussion), George Mousa Samaan (trombone), Charly Akert (cello), and Owen Sutter (violin). These voices and instruments provide wonderful sound and texture everywhere.
If Vodka has one complaint, it is with the production which tends to be pushed very hard in places. I don’t think that’s necessary ever. The good news is that this production does not overshadow the vocals, and it isn’t as bad as some modern production which totally obliterates the need for volume control or an equalizer on a sound system. These production issues, too, are not on every track on The War: Act I, so I’m hopeful that The War: Act II will improve the overall production. The loudness wars aren’t over as far as I’m concerned. We need to pay attention to the details and allow the listener to adjust the volume, bass, and treble where they should be for them. Compositionally, The War: Act I is an excellent LP.
You can find more information on The Family Crest by heading up to their excellent website. It is one of the best band websites that I’ve seen in some time. It has things that I’ve never seen on a band website, including links to their podcast, the “extended” family of personnel that they have and are working with, video and music links, purchase, streaming, and social links. The only missing link that I can find, is their bandcamp.com link.
Consider picking up some orchestral indie-pop-rock from a band that has excellent chops. Pick up The War: Act I and all of the band’s earlier work from their bandcamp.com site or from their website, and watch for the release of The War: Act II on May 20th!
Note: There is a reason to be cautiously optimistic about the trajectory of the COVID 19 virus. We’ve been here before and were turned back by the variants. Even with things improving, artists such as The Family Crest could still use your purchases. If your situation allows it, consider purchasing more in these tough times. Please, if you are physically able to do so, get vaccinated. — Vodka