In 2010 a band named after a beer (Banquets) put out a 7″ titled with a Lebowski reference (This Is Our Concern, Dude). Yes, Jersey City’s Banquets may have started in a humorous manner between friends who just wanted to have fun and play music. But, what the band has blossomed into in a few short years is nothing short of remarkable. Of course, the talent was there all along, you could see it in the strains of those first four songs. Move on to 2011’s triumphant LP debut, Top Button, Bottom Shelf, and it was clear to see, Banquets was in fact, the real deal. Now here we stand in 2013, Banquets are set to release their sophomore LP, the aptly Self-Titled album showcases a band firing on all cylinders.
Following up their brilliant debut LP, 2011’s Top Button, Bottom Shelf, Banquets return with a Self-Titled sophomore effort that continues the band’s no filler approach. Much like its predecessor, Self-Titled clocks in at 10 songs under 30 minutes but there is a bit more breathing room here as the band expands and hones their sound. Along with guitarist/vocalist, Dave Frenson and bassist Christ Larsen, the addition of Brian Maguire on drums has been key to the band’s growth. Lead singer, Travis Omilian, is the secret weapon though, hiding behind the band’s ultra tight melodic pop/punk. There is a worn romanticism and a nostalgic charm to Omilian’s lyrics. Combined with the band’s dynamic sense of urgency and uplifting spirit, Omilian’s lyrics give Banquets a depth that is rare to find in the genre these days. Self-Titled truly encompasses the band’s growth into a songwriting tour de force.
–Will Miller(Beartrap PR)
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