|:| Review of Proud Simon's new EP Anchors Aweigh |:|
If Rascal Flatts took a cue from the indie world and stepped out of their cowboy boots, they might sound something like Brooklyn’s Proud Simon.
The supple vocals on Anchors Aweigh are orthodox Americana — no wailing, no rapping, just sinuous lyrics from the heartland that waver between decent and sub-par. The five-song EP seems to veer towards experimentation, only to end up consistently mediocre.
Generic drum rhythms beat alongside effortless guitar and barely noticeable keyboards, creating an unengaging sound. There are incompatible guest appearances by pedal steel and harmonica, a country element that calls into question exactly which direction the band was trying to go.
The final track “Time Capsule” arouses from the boring slumber with poignant rapping drums and a bulging bass line. The song carves out a clean, distinctive sound that shames the rest of the bland EP.
But for the most part Anchors Aweigh makes it seem as if Proud Simon took a Paint-by-Numbers course in soft rock. With vocals, guitar, and drums composed according to a preset template, this EP feels like re-heated leftovers. It’s an unoriginal effort that pales in comparison to livelier pop fare.
I am new to the Diversions desk and this is the first assignment I was given. The Diversions desk is the section of The Daily Tar Heel that covers music, movies, and arts while focusing more on the Chapel Hill/Carrboro/Durham region. The section is published every Thursday and is full of good articles and reviews every week. DTH Diversions also has a blog.