Gauntlet Hair is mysterious.
The details of who band members Andy R. and Craig Nice are and how the band materialized are as few as the tracks Gauntlet Hair offers. Still, the Colorado lads are on the cusp of being indie’s next band to watch.
The lead single “I Was Thinking” is the reason behind the ground swell that’s started, and if all goes well, they’ll have a moment in the spotlight.
Crashes, and reverberations go on forever, rattling around like the room is endless, delivering the sound of Guantlet Hair. The Lafayette natives make music that is vast in context, but with only two people, the methods are quite minimal.
Just three sources of sound (drums, vocals and guitar) and lots of hardware is all it takes for the boys to do their thing. The sound, the band’s signature that is, relies heavily on delay effects that overlap, giving it a spacious and ruckus feel. The echoes of guitars and vocals bounce off one another as the harmonies bring a sense of calm to the loud instrumentals.
Thematically, the songs are simple reflections of life at home and the excitement, or lack there of, of every day life. On “Out, Don’t” the band sings, “Who’s got my raincoat, it’s going to poor now,” and later “I’ve got the feeling that know one cares,” making the mundane sound so damn cool. It’s this quality that allows Gauntlet Hair to fit in with the smattering of other bands, such as Health, or Holiday Shores, that rely heavily on reverb to boost the range.
Yet Gauntlet Hair stands out, finding a middle ground between the hectic and the catchy that’s quite riveting.
Already, “I Was Thinking” has found it’s way around the Internet, receiving much acclaim. Drums sound off like party poppers as wobbly sunny guitars fill the landscape. The song moves from its bright and loud disposition into very welcoming scrappy pop. However, that’s only one side to what this band offers.
Released as a single, “Out, Don’t” is just as a pop-centric as ”I Was Thinking,” with jarring guitars turning over licks that jump. This time, the boys’ chops as a rock band are shown off in the power-chord heavy chorus. Surrounding that is a sound closer to new wave, the combination creating small hooks scattered about.
On the other hand, the other track featured on the Out…Don’t, “Heave,” carries a darker tone with distant yells and an attractive harshness to the approach. Guitars are palm muted and beaten into a groovy submission. It’s the delayed vocals, and raw percussion that make up the sonically simple track and it’s loud hell.
The last of the tracks circulating online, “Our Scenery” is surprisingly grounded. It’s the most direct of the bunch, toning down the reverb a tad and just rocking. It’s the most straight forward track to date, and after a hasty climax the last minute of the song becomes quite the beautiful moment thanks to toned down repetitive strums and the warm line, “You’ve got your mama’s eyes.”
With these four modes of operation, Gauntlet Hair gives a teaser of things to come. All the tracks are structurally simple, and the band uses that to its advantage, providing a lot to sink into. Gauntlet Hair is yet to disappoint, giving grounds for a solid debut record, and consequently much hype to live up to. So far only “Out, Don’t” and “Heave” have been officially released and are available for purchase. The rest can be found at the usual streaming location.
The sole mention of a full-length debut has been simply that “it’s coming soon.” The sooner the better, Gauntlet Hair, the sooner the better.