Gardens will surprise you, just not at first. At first, you’ll learn they’re a rock band from Detroit and that, on early songs like “Teachers” and “Maze Time”, they sound like a band from Detroit. They’ve got that bluesy, garage thing going for them, but they bring a little more low end and heft than some of their hazy-rock counterparts. It’s when the band branched out, though, that things get a little more interesting. The acoustic sounds and drifting keys of “Morning Refresher” totally change the mood to something closer to bedroom-pop, while the organ stomp of “Poems in Puff” steers away from the guitar crunch that drives the album. Most impressive is the long, psych-pop wandering of “Ideas to Use”, which manages to be both anthemic and puzzling at the same time. Gardens may sound like a lot of other rock bands for a good chunk of their debut—you’re bound to think of the Black Lips—but when they break from that mold, they show just how much they have to offer. They may be another rock band from Detroit, but this shifting record proves that they’re not just another rock band from Detroit.
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// Notes from the Road
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