Piebald - Accidental Gentlemen (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Accidental Gentlemen (2007)


Accidental Gentlemen is the fifth full-length effort from Boston's Piebald as the band continue with their ever-maturing sound and present fresh challenges for long-time fans and new reasons for the uninitiated to get in on the party.

My own introduction to Piebald actually came with last year's Killa Bros and Killa Bees, a B-sides/DVD combo released on SideOneDummy Records. While I was new to the band, it encouraged me to dig back into their catalogue.

Accidental Gentlemen begins with the aptly titled "Opener," which sets things up much like a Broadway medley if nothing else. Piebald wastes no time in testing the listener. The ending of "Opener" is more than 30 seconds of clicking which leads into the album's first single, "A Friend of Mine," which offers a more conventional song structure than "Opener," and sets the tone for much of the album. That is, most of the songs consist of choppy verses with biting vocals and larger, more melodic choruses. There's ton of hooks, but enough change-ups in tempo and structure to make Accidental Gentlemen define itself as much more than the average power-pop album.

The most compelling aspect of Accidental Gentlemen is the stark contrast between the album's upbeat music and vocalist/guitarist Travis Shettel's bitter lyrics -- much as with what is heard with bands like Reel Big Fish. If it weren't for the tendency for Shettel's vocals to nearly flatten at moments, the album would have been a lot stronger. Nevertheless, I'm sure that those who have become acquired with his style are perfectly content with it, and I've got to say it grew on me over a few listens.

Accidental Gentlemen isn't a standout record for the band or the genre, but it's solid effort and worth some time spent with your ears.