Album Review: The Company Kept – “Stages”

The Company Kept are an indie rock band hailing from Parsippany, NJ with a unique sound and a dark, gritty overtone that’s equally unnerving as it is inspiring. Their debut EP, Stages, is quite the journey to say the least.

Opening track “Canvasses” kicks off the record in a strikingly foreboding manner, with much talk of leaving splattered throughout the song. It sets up a grim picture for this dark yet ultimately pleasing release, leading right into the magnificently arranged “Nobody”. Sure to be a fan favorite, the intro bombards the listener with a downright beautiful instrumental jam session of the utmost epic proportions before exploding into the anthemic crowd-surf-head-walk sing-along of “Vampires and acrobats/Computers and subway rats/Are ripping through my head/And cocaine girls write melodies/of glorious fidelities I dread/She says it as she’s ripping me to shreds”. 

And did I mention the riffs? Contained within this collection of songs are hands down some of the most quality space-riffs in the game. This is as perfect as late-night-introspective-drive-through-the-country songs get. It’s also pretty damn unclassifiable, and that’s a good thing. 33% Circa Survive, 33% Death Cab, 33% Moneen, and 1% 90’s emo, this band will embark on a digging expedition to the very core of your emotions and gut them like a plump, juicy pumpkin.

The incidence rate of this occurrence skyrockets to unfathomably absurd levels in track 4 “Gabriel”, with a mind blowing chorus that’ll ring in your head for years on end. The last two songs on this effort tend to veer towards a less dark approach than the first three, at least musically.

In finale, “Silver and Gold,” vocalist Paul Singh spews a flurry of truly insightful wisdom with the soon-to-be iconic line “Cause if you don’t have the time/you will never have the time to/Free yourself from the things that bind you./Take it out and take it out and lay it out and/Be the map that gets you lost and you will find that/All is not in place/Yeah all is not in place.” Alongside the pounding drums and astro-atmospheric guitar tones, the point is driven home in the fanciest of fashions and delivered on a delicious three course dinner platter fit for anyone hankering for a straight-up masterful composition.

To put it in layman’s terms, this album is more or less the musical equivalent of those astronaut dry ice cream sandwich bars that they sell at museum gift shops; an astonishingly refreshing, spacey experience that’s sure to entice anyone on the lookout for things that are just too damn good. For any fan of music that makes you think, feel, and want to understand it on a deeper level: your order is ready for pickup.

Rating: 7/8
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Purchase Stages / “Like” The Company Kept

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