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Banquets - Top Button, Bottom Shelf (Cover Artwork)

Banquets

Banquets: Top Button, Bottom ShelfTop Button, Bottom Shelf (2011)
Black Numbers

Reviewer Rating: 4.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: sickboiChris
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Yes, it's another band from New Jersey. Do they sing about life in their hometown? Sure. Is there a hint of classic Americana with the essence of pop-punk? Check. But don't let that discourage you; Banquets may not be reinventing the wheel, but they know how to make it roll effectively. Started a.
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Yes, it's another band from New Jersey. Do they sing about life in their hometown? Sure. Is there a hint of classic Americana with the essence of pop-punk? Check. But don't let that discourage you; Banquets may not be reinventing the wheel, but they know how to make it roll effectively.

Started as nothing more than a collaboration between friends to play music on their own terms--when they want, where they want and without touring or record obligations--Banquets have two solid releases (and a split) under their belts in less than two years. Their debut EP, This Is Our Concern, Dude, was a promising introduction. Though rough and a little inconsistent in presenting a specific style or definitive sound, the EP was solid enough to get people listening, and garner the band a slot at the Fest 9 in Gainesville, Fla. The band's debut LP, Top Button, Bottom Shelf, is a thought-provoking title when you really think about it. Lead vocalist/guitarist Travis Omilian describes it as "finding the inner-scumbag in yourself, kinda like asking for a hotdog at a nice wedding buffet." It's that sneering sense of humor that seems to contribute to the carefree mood of the record found on tracks like "Just Me and My Jose Canseco Rookie Card." One of the record's best tracks, "Forever Bender," showcases the band's knack for catchy hooks, and snarky lyricism, including "Ooooooo, I'm petty-ful / I pissed in your garden / now nothing's gonna grow."

The overall growth of the band as one cohesive unit is prevalent throughout the record. Songs such as "The Sound of Money" and "Sometimes a Wolf" feature dynamic backing vocals, tempo changes and the overall tightness you'd expect in a more seasoned band. Furthermore, Omilian's vocal range and ability has dramatically improved, allowing the band to try more diverse approaches including "Best Night of the Night," where Omilian's vocals seem to perfectly weave in and out of guitarist Dave Frenson's precise timing and bassist Chris Larson's consistent tempo.

I've read reviews that have said this is great music to listen to on a long drive, or put on while hanging out with a group of friends, and I'd agree with both statements. I highly recommend this album to anyone that just likes good music without the frills or pretentious attitude. One of 2011's best.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
MagnetBox (October 21, 2011)

It's okay. I don't understand all the high praise.

highwayking24 (October 21, 2011)

great songs and great dudes...stoked for the show below.

asbury lanes
wednesday, october 26th, 2011

Banquets
The Reveling
Kid Nichols

jacknife737 (October 21, 2011)

Love it.

mean_and_average (October 21, 2011)

God dammit. Double spam post.

OCT 23 - Camden, NJ
@ Rutgers Camden
Restorations, Look Mexico, Bridge & Tunnel, and Banquets.
All ages | 7:30pm | FREE
http://on.fb.me/rr5qKR

mean_and_average (October 21, 2011)

Spamming.

OCT 23 - Camden, NJ
@ Rutgers Camden
w/ Look Mexico, Bridge & Tunnel, and Banquets.
All ages | 7:30pm | FREE
http://on.fb.me/rr5qKR

evanPGH (October 21, 2011)

Damn near perfect pop-punk album. Some of the catchiest shit I've heard and it holds it's energy all the way through.

newpokerface (October 21, 2011)

this record is awesome, like AWESOME

ChrisFingaz (October 21, 2011)

"..and out of guitarist Dave Frenson's precise timing and bassist BIG CITY's consistent tempo." FTFY

danperrone (October 21, 2011)

really awesome

spoon_of_grimbo (October 21, 2011)

bought this on the strength of the first two tracks and i wasn't dissappointed - travis' vocals have improved SO much since he was in Let Me Run. this is in the running for album of the year for me. so is "tributaries" by the reveling which was released on the same label a few months after this - similar sounding record, you'd be into it if you like banquets.

wyld_stallyns_rule (October 21, 2011)

Fantastic record. Will be in my top five for sure.

nick_s (October 21, 2011)

Love this album.

Michael_Berryman (October 21, 2011)

yeah, this is pretty great.

Bastard_squad (October 21, 2011)

I love this record.

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