Review: Jack Foley
HAVING been picked out by the New York Times as one of the 10
bands to look out for in 2005, new San Francisco-based rockers,
Gratitude, deliver an album that more than lives up to its promise.
Featuring 12 timeless rock anthems of genuine quality, the album
is a blistering collection of uplifting songs that encapsulate
the feel-good vibe surrounding the sunshine state, as well as
bands as noteworthy as U2, Led Zeppelin and, to a lesser degree,
Third Eye Blind and Jimmy Eat World.
Kicking off with the excellent lead single, Drive Away,
the album is delivered with such unbridled enthusiasm that it's
difficult not to become caught up in its energy.
Co-founded by former Far frontman, Jonah Matranga, and ex-Crumb
guitarist, Mark Weinberg, Gratitude seek to deliver big rock tracks
that can appeal to everyone.
Or, as Matranga puts it, songs that 'when you're in your car,
just sound so touching and brilliant'.
Take the weeping guitar riffs of Someone To Love, for
instance, which include some beautiful arcs and a truly aching
chorus; or the upbeat energy of Sadie, which begins with
some gentle riffs, a little piano, and the poignant lyrics, 'say
you want me to be there, be there in the end'.
The U2-inspired The Greatest Wonder contains some almighty
guitar hooks reminiscent of early Edge (circa The Joshua Tree),
making it another highlight, while the chiming guitars of Feel
Alright provide a suitably epic backdrop to another belter
of a record.
Even the slower tracks, such as the poignant If Ever
('it's good to hear your voice, it's good to hear your breathing'),
hit home with equal resonance.
Yet it's a feature of Gratitude's music that each song comes
infused with so much passion and emotion that they sweep the listener
along with them, providing a mightily rewarding experience that
easily rates as one of the best debut albums of the year.
It's well worth picking up on the numerous recommendations surrounding
them, for in discovering Gratitude you can only be grateful for
discovering a real rock gem.
Read the IndieLondon
1. Drive Away
3. All in a Row
4. Greatest Wonder
5. This Is the Part
6. Feel Alright
8. Someone to Love
9. Another Division St.
10. If Ever
11. Dream, Again
12. Begin Again