The Pawn Rook Four

The Pawn Rook Four

The Pawn Rook Four

self-released

The Pawn Rook Four have come out with guns blazing. Once an unassumingly simple catchy pop band, the Gainesville-based group has spontaneously developed an edge. In this, their four-song EP follow-up to the ultra-catchy Songs for a Romantic Evening, the band dons a mullet-like ensemble: the short-cut front for their clean and catchy pop, and a flowing mane in the back for the new classic rock predominance • indeed, “rock” being the operative word. This is the average guy devoting a year to pumping iron. It’s the cute tiger that’s now tackling antelope. This, the new Pawn Rook Four, is the same little band • with a new, big sound.

Take the opening track, “Stendhal Syndrome,” a beefy, fully loaded machine of a song with solid layered guitar licks, vocal harmonies and the kind of backbone drumming that puts drum sets into early retirement. While their departure from simple pop wasn’t particularly necessary, Pawn Rook Four’s new bark and bite are something as unexpected as they are impressive • especially with Jeremy Morgan’s poised and buoyant vocals guiding them. However, even with their newfound license to rock, they aren’t relentless about it. The other three songs show decisive hints of their former, less intricate selves • especially the low-key floater, “Heartache in a Mother’s Home” • but the new complexity and crafty studio work fills the potential their music has proved itself to have. A pawn rook four may be a predictably poor chess move, but with any knowledge of their previous album, The Pawn Rook Four’s self-titled EP is anything but expected.

The Pawn Rook Four, PO Box 14021, Gainesville, FL 32604; http://www.thepr4.com

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