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CD REVIEW: Alligators - Piggy & Cups
By Cyrus Rhodes - 12/10/2009 - 02:24 PM EST

Artist: Alligators
Album: Piggy & Cups
Label: Independent
Genre: Alt Pop/Rock
Sounds Like: Death Cab for Cutie, Yes, Beach Boys
Technical Grade: 10/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 10/10
Commercial Value: 10/10
Overall Talent Level: 10/10
Songwriting Skills: 10/10
Performance Skill: 9/10
Best Songs: In you want to, The Conquerer, Where does it Hide
Weakness: NONE!
CD Review:

Recently were seen some impressive music come out of the Pacific Northwest. Bands like Loch Lomond, Kane Hodder, The Dandy Warhol’s, and of course Death Cab for Cutie just to name a few. This new brand of music flows and ebbs with a rich variety, exotic musical textures, and positive creative energy.  Enter 5 piece know simply as the Alligators from of all places Bremerton, WA. Vocalist Joshua Trembley leads the way with Bradley Pooler, Tyler Lewis, Daniel Lewis and Kristian Arper, also active in other local bands such as Time To Fly, Map of June and Arper all come together to release Piggy & Cups in early 2009. 

Logging in at just over 48 minutes, The CD kicks off with “Where does it Hide” a smooth intro piece with Gin Blossomy-type guitars, addictive vocal melodies, and dynamic musical sound scapes that come at you from every direction. Track 2 “Mama Stop” kicks it up a few notches, with driving rhythms, well placed harmonies, and clever track-merging into track 3 “Original Fear.” This CD makes a great first impression, right from the start you will notice rich musical textures overflowing everywhere, full of warmth, variety, and strong melodic structure. The songs themselves are addictive, and very upbeat, complete with positive, carefree subject matter that cannot be faked. Track 4 “If you want to” probably my favorite track has an amazing chorus that will no doubt lift your spirits. The musicianship of this 5 piece is solid. The players themselves write, and play there parts extremely well. The vocal harmonies are brilliantly placed and well crafted. This band reminds me of vintage Yes, or even the Beach Boys - amazing musical creativity against a grand mosaic of melodic vocals. No doubt some of these members sung in a school chior before. They do it so well in-fact a lot of these songs can stand on their own vocally, without any instrumentation. From upbeat songs like “Be the only one”, “If you want to”, to darker pieces like “The Conqueror” all deliver a solid groove, and flow extremely well track by track, melody by melody. The keyboard synthesizer accents are well placed, and add even more variety. There are so many creative time changes I gave up trying to predict what was around the next corner. In fact the music is very unpredictable, and will keep you guessing, so I recommend you just sit back and let the music take you where it takes you. When the ride is over you will feel exhilarated, wanting to come back for another go around This CD has everything from rock, R&B, to Rap, and even some tribal rhythms. Yep it’s pretty much amazing!

Piggy & Cups is a professional production from top to bottom, and has no weaknesses that I can see under my microscope. The music is clean, goes down smooth, and is a lot of fun to listen to. It strength - it’s amazing musical variety, with lots of sonic layering and brilliant vocal reinforcements. My hats off to the entire production team, recorded in Jason McGerr’s (Death Cab for Cutie) Two Stick Audio in Seattle - it was recorded, mixed and mastered to absolute perfection!  Overall Piggy & Cups is a very solid debut statement indeed from the Alligators. This release clearly proves they deserve a spot in the deep end of the pond with some of the aforementioned bands above.

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