The Band Apart - Alfred and Cavity (Cover Artwork)

The Band Apart

Alfred and Cavity (2006)

Asian Gothic

When I heard the Band Apart described as "Braid meets the Jackson Five" I knew that there was potential for something unlike anything I'd ever heard. While the actual album isn't quite as jarring as the description would lead you to believe, the listen is still a fun one.

The music itself does have a noticeable Braid influence, particularly in the mathy guitars and playful and energetic compositions, but with less of their occasional abrasiveness. While it is not surprising considering they share a major influence, I can draw some comparisons to Minus the Bear. This is of course with far less tapping and an arguably more engaged vocalist. Still, the guitars are also often quite staccato with an occasional almost funky tone; the same can be said for the bass. I wouldn't go as far as to say that this is the dreaded "dance punk," but I will say that the songs have a definite groove.

Alfred and Cavity is the third release for the Band Apart, who have apparently garnered quite the following in their native Japan. All the songs are sung in English, albeit a heavily accented English. The topics of these songs range from general topics of life, love of music and other such overarching topics. While you may not be able to understand what the vocalist is singing 100% of the time, the choruses are often simple enough to sing passionately along to.

A description as seemingly convoluted as the one given for the Band Apart might almost lead people to the idea of some sort of gimmick. This couldn't be further from the truth, as the Band Apart play honest music for those not afraid of a little funk with their indie rock.