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June 19, 2024

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The Gravel Pit
The Gravel Pit Manifesto (Q Division Records)

By: Alex Steininger

The Gravel Pit is a power-pop quartet with an organ hailing from Boston, Massachusetts. Their lyrics are humorous on the outside, but sometimes they let you go deeper in meaning. But they always keep a playful edge, never dwelling into the world of serious preaching and whining. On "The Gravel Pit Manifesto" they deliver thirteen tracks that will make you smile and laugh.

The CD starts off with "New Haven," a song about their previous place of residence, before moving to Boston. It starts off with some rock guitar, and then a shout reminiscent of old 70's rock. The shout definitely detracts from the music, but they quickly gain back your trust with a very catchy pop gem. The song is full of all the goods that will get you jumping and singing along in no time. A very infectious chorus, tons of hooks, lyrics you can sing along with, and very clean vocals on top of that. If that wasn't enough, the organ adds a definite interesting touch to the music. As it slides through the song, it helps dictate the hooks and energizes the music. A great start for any album. "Something's Growing Inside" brings us more pop mayhem. Right from the beginning they hit you with hooks courtesy of the fuzzy guitar. The drums keep the beat with a soft pace, adding a little more power for emphasis when needed. The bass goes at it smoothly and calmly, while still adding depth and power to the song. The vocals are clean and smooth, keeping the song right on track. The chorus once again will grab you and get you singing along, while the verses have the same effect. You'll listen to this a few times, and then just smile and sing along. "Officer Dwight Boyd" is a shot at all the TV cops who look pretty on TV, but put in a real situation wouldn't know what to do if their life depended on it. Humorous lyrics, powerful beats, and an addictive hook always there make this an album stand out. This song has the power to be all over the radio, with everyone singing and humming this song every chance they get. "Skipping Through The Chill" starts off with vocals over bass and drums, with light guitar. Just from that they make this another album stand out, but then they go and add to it by jumping the song into some fast pop. Keeping the song fast, they still manage to add the hooks you've come to expect. The drums pound in the back, while the guitar screams through the song, and the bass beats with intense passion for the song. This song is so catchy and infectious, it gets my playing air drums every time I hear it. "The Judas Lament" was a sad ending to such a happy, up tempo, and fun CD. Recorded live, that still doesn't justify the poor recording quality, the lack of energy, and the weak ending this song provided for the CD. If anything, it only implies this is purely a studio band who can't hack it live. Hard to believe after hearing this CD, but that's the impression it gives off.

The Gravel Pit know how to do pop. Infectious and powerful, they'll hook you in no time. Within a minute of listening to this disc, you too will be smiling. I'll give this disc an A.

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