Quiet Company have been around for almost a decade and have a bit more than a handful of albums, yet I only just found out about them a couple of weeks ago. They were the first act opening for Third Eye Blind and Dashboard Confessional and their inclusion, which I had only found out about the day before the show, was a pleasant surprise. I guess they’d fall under the Indie Rock banner, but I could tell by their show that they weren’t looking to conform to anything. After the night was over I was quick to go to the merch booth and get their recent album Transgressor.
Actually I put them through a private test. When Quiet Company finished, guitarist/lead singer Taylor Muse mentioned that they’d be by the merch booth and told the crowd to say hi. I didn’t want to lose my spot so I thought to myself if the band is still there at the end of the night after Third Eye Blind then they must really appreciate the new fans they made as well as their existing ones and then they’d definitely deserve my money towards Transgressor. Needless to say Taylor was still there entertaining a crowd after all those hours, so I was happy to get the album and go over and say hi.
Really though I can’t imagine not having got Transgressor. I knew from Quiet Company‘s live set that it would be good, maybe even great. I’ve been to many shows and have seen many opening acts and there have been quite a few I found good enough to buy their album afterwards. Despite these good impressions, I rarely remember any of the songs these bands have played. If I remember even one song, that song must have been pretty damn significant, Dead Sara‘s Weatherman comes to mind as one that I still remembered right after their show. Well in the case of Quiet Company‘s Transgressor, there are three songs that I distinctly remember hearing them play live.
These songs are opening track Seven Hells, The Most Dangerous Game and Understand The Problem. Seven Hells is a unique in that it’s heavily keyboard/organ based with very little guitars. I remember during their set (which they opening with this song) seeing both Taylor and Thomas Blank holding guitars, so I knew Quiet Company must be a guitar heavy band, yet it took almost halfway through the song for anyone to start playing their guitar. The vocal harmonies and the psychedelic outbursts heard in Seven Hells made (and still do make) for a very interesting and enjoyable experience both live and recorded on Transgressor.
Most Dangerous Game and Understand The Problem are more typical to rock songs, with plenty of guitars. The former has an intensity to it that it hidden well in its jangly indie rock facade, while Understand The Problem is unapologetically fun to listen to. It’s main riff is what really stands out. This jangly fun sound seems to be the most common thread to Transgressor. Mother of a Deal and Road To Perdition both have beats that you can move to with catchy pop melodies that will probably not take too long to stick in your head, but this sound doesn’t define Quiet Company.
The second half of Transgressor is where it becomes even more apparent that Quiet Company just want to make (rather well written) songs, no matter what they may be classified as. Starting with the acoustic Kindness. It’s folk pop sound is reminiscent of a modern Paul McCartney. Okay, so I’m not comparing Quiet Company to The Beatles, but whether or not they realize it, there is some influence there. Being the only all acoustic song on the album, Kindness is appropriately placed smack dab in the middle of Transgressor.
I Heard The Devil Say My Name keeps Quiet Company‘s pop melodies and the catchy musical intelligence of the first half of Transgressor, but underneath there lies a bit of a darker undertone, similar to A Most Dangerous Game but just a little bit more noticeable. Regardless, both songs you’d really have to be listening to notice it. Though it’s easier to notice on A Year In Decline.
The last three songs to Transgressor are where the most obvious differences lie. Starting with the slowest and most solemn song on the album Wherever You Take Me (one of the true “wow” moments of the album for me personally,) to the dark and melancholy The Virgin’s Apartment and then ending it with another slow one, Midnight At The Dairy Palace, complete with a dramatic orchestra intro. Though the entire album shows some terrific song writing, it’s these last three songs that show Quiet Company mean business and are far more than a one trick pony.
Most bands would make full albums of happy fun pop rock, and others would make full albums of slow and sad songs. Quiet Company‘s Transgressor is far from one of these albums. In earnest, this may very well be the most diverse and still most consistently good album I’ve heard all year.
Thanks for reading!
“The Most Dangerous Game” – It was an easy choice. From when I saw them live I knew this would be the highlight. Not only is it the track that completely hooked me to believe Quiet Company is a band worth following but it also sums Transgressor up well. It is an indie rock song like some may classify the album, it has catchy pop melodies but has an intensity that you almost don’t expect.
10 (Out of 10)
|2||The Most Dangerous Game||3:30|
|3||Mother of a Deal||3:46|
|4||Road to Perdition||3:53|
|5||Understand the Problem||3:52|
|7||I Heard the Devil Say My Name||4:38|
|8||A Year in Decline||4:43|
|9||Wherever You Take Me||3:50|
|10||The Virgin’s Apartment||4:04|
|11||Midnight at the Dairy Palace||4:50|