The Equatorial Group: Americana in Eastbourne

The Equatorial Group credit Simon Mark Smith
The Equatorial Group credit Simon Mark Smith

Introducing The Equatorial Group – creating Americana-esque sounds, from Eastbourne, East Sussex.

If I’m being completely honest – when I pressed play and let The Equatorial Group’s live session fill the room, I completely forgot I was listening for the purpose of reviewing. I turned it up loud, and drifted off entirely into some wonderfully calm place. This is beautiful music; smooth, easy to listen to, yet as powerful and emotive as any classic rock ballads.

‘Falling’ is fantastic – grouping together everything from emotive lyrics, powerful vocal melodies and harmonies, and even a guitar solo. Sadly it doesn’t feature on the EP, but the live version is more than worth checking out.

‘Toy Shark’ was my initial favourite, but I never really settled on a decision. I didn’t need to – these guys are great. The EP entitled ‘Elvis’ is a refreshing contender in the ocean of recent full band releases. So many wonderful melodies; all four tracks seem like timeless classics, even leaving room for expressive instrumental parts. Never getting boring, harmonies take hold at just the right moments, as does the sometimes sudden attitude of the guitar (undoubtedly a good thing). Still talking about ‘Toy Shark’ – the recorded version strikes me in very different ways to the live clips; I suppose adding video to music entirely alters our perception of it, but also I feel like they brought the main vocal forward a little further in the live sessions, so the mood was different. The lyrics have slightly less impact when the vocals are lower, but the rest of the music, which is flawless throughout, gets to dance in the spotlight a little. I’m glad we have both versions in the world.

‘Colourful’ disagrees with what I just said entirely. The lyrics stand out and draw you into the song – the levels are just right, and the mood created is perfectly placed within the arrangement of the four songs. One listen would never be enough.

‘Motorbikes’ is a truly beautiful finish to this project. A little like being lost in the last few minutes of an extended Eagles song, the instrumentation builds and builds, quickens and drops, in a gritty yet wonderful way. It’s artistic, but not trying to be something outside of itself. Just music, I guess. Just the way they expressed it at the time; and it works incredibly well.

‘Elvis’ is a brilliant four track EP – highly recommended listening. Also anything and everything else you come across by this band on-line is well worth putting your time into. A great sound.

Find The Equatorial Group online on ReverbNation and Facebook. Their EP, ‘Elvis’ is available on Bandcamp.

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