Stars Collecting (EP)

Gabriel The Marine

Sun Pedal Recordings, 2013

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


Generally, when I hear about music from Long Island, NY, I tend to think of guitar crunch, catchy pop melodies, and the sort of appearance and style that used to be called 'college rock'. It only makes senses, as outfits like Brand New and Taking Back Sunday have pretty much put Long Island on the musical map with global effects. Gabriel The Marine, also from Long Island, is quite the anomaly in this scenario, though. Formed in 2008, the quintet explores classical and orchestral sounds in their unlikely brand of independent rock. A lush, comforting, and very smoothly executed outfit, the band actually puts much stock into violins, something you're not likely to hear from their peers. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The EP leads off with the title track “Stars Collecting.” It opens with an acoustic guitar and frontman Michael Desmond's incredibly soothing pipes; it’s at this point that we're all aware this is going to be a sophisticated, mature version of what is commonly called 'emo' in 2013. "In Tension" follows and brings Dylan Ebrahimian' inimitable, warm violins to the mix, a theme that continues on in this EP. Ebrahimian plays with superhuman skill, contributing lightning quick fills and breathtaking solos. The eerie keys, monumental strings, and reverbed guitars make this not only the strongest track but also the most detailed. The third song, "Honest," is easily the most radio friendly and could easily turn these guys into a sensation, again using the violin while taking a more direct pop approach. "Like A Child" closes things out with a more ballad-like exit, beginning with an acoustic guitar but then building into a louder finale with gorgeous pianos before the guitars take over.

Stars Collecting is an extremely slick listen. The sound here is so well documented; each instrument is given the royal treatment and the violin acrobatics really bring so much to the table. Providing a different spin on the usual indie rock fare, these four songs are a great way to introduce yourself to a band who truly could and deserve to be 'the next big thing.’

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2013 Tom Haugen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Sun Pedal Recordings, and is used for informational purposes only.