Since 2011 the saxophone has seemed to have a resurgence within the unexpected genre of indie rock. Behemoth acts like M83, Bon Iver, Atlas Sound and Grizzly Bear have incorporated the instrument into their music. You can add Two Out Rally to that list as well. The band comprised of Gabriel Zucker (vocals, guitars, bass), Zane Smith (vocals, guitars, bass), Talor Gruenwald (drums) and Jean-Luc Mosley (saxophone) writes fairly straightforward indie rock type songs that are complemented by saxophone. It’s a prominent instrument that shows up quite a bit on their recent album Underneath The Stairs but is far from the only reason you should be listening to this album.
The electric guitars are almost always clean leaving plenty of room for the vocals to breathe. It also opens up some space for the bass so that you can clearly hear the technically and creatively impressive parts. Let's not forget about the drum work, which blends a jazz and rock style that melds with the other instruments.
The band opens up with “Cymbal Stand,” which takes a few seconds to form into the sound that the band explores throughout the album. Zucker sounds young almost innocent-sounding and that works with the music. He sings “Sound is electric, baby / Please get it right / Put up the cymbal stands and / Play them in the night.”
“Don’t Rush It” is a highlight amongst the songs. It is an impressive barrage of energy and sounds. The clean guitar make the sax sound huge as the band rocks out. Smith delivers a solid vocal performance that has him purging emotion that feels cathartic. The band wisely brings down the energy with “Sandy,” which is a loose song that almost feels like an improvisation at times.
“Mrs. Demise” is a melodic song that effortlessly combines jazz and rock while “End Of Dawn” has aspects of Americana and reminded me of Fleet Foxes. The close with “Underneath The Stairs” has some of the most appealing melodies on the album.
Underneath The Stairs is an album with few lulls and for the most part is an easy, fun listen for its entirety. The band has a recognizable sound that fans of indie rock should at least embrace if not relish.
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