By Nick Habisch
The genre of “Garage Rock” has always been one that’s hard to pin down. Ranging from the simple, noisy sounds of groups like The Seeds to the more mainstream sounds of The Who , or even the more modern sounds of The Black Keys, this genre spans lots of sounds, but generally involves distorted guitars and vocals that push the limit of what could be considered singing.
Regal Treats, a group based out of Minneapolis, doesn’t hesitate to bring the noise on Gimme, an album that bends the ranges of dynamics, from the loud noisy guitars, to soft melodic moments, and brings back a sound that has fallen out of the popular eye for the most part. Songs like “Soulmate #3” and “Happy Everyday” evoke an almost Echo and the Bunnyman style of melancholy, while “A Million Ways” brings the album up a bit with its more poppy-esque sounding melody. Regal Treats adds to the already noisy sound by having recorded this album live, which provides a nice feeling of originality, as it doesn’t display the typical studio sheen that coats most albums that are released today.
Musically Gimme is solid. The guitars are noisy a la typical Garage fashion, but do bring an almost Southern Rock/Blues style on songs like “Never Be Happy” and “Don’t Worry Babe”. The rhythm work is adequate, though the lack of real audible drumwork or bass may have to do with the live recording as the guitars and vocals tend to dominate the sound. The vocal work is solid, if not great on this album. The singer tends to stay in a somewhat monotone range, but this doesn’t hamper the band in any way, as his unique sound brings a level of sadness and tone to the songs that may not exist with a more dynamic singer.
With Gimme, Regal Treats has created a unique, live Garage Rock album that brings some life back to that barely burning genre. Although the album is not perfect, there is potential for the band to continue on a solid track. It may not stack up to some of the classic Garage Rock bands, but Regal Treats is no pushover in the genre.