Garbagio-Garbagio: EP Review

On their self-titled EP, Toronto-based indie-rockers Garbagio offer a strong collection of tracks that showcase their potential as songwriters, instrumentalists, and arrangers.  Opening with a Doors-induced vamp comprised of lead-guitar noodling, moody undertones, and echoing high notes, the band takes a soupy, distorted spin through various eras of rock with light vocals and dense orchestrations combining for a starkly collective ensemble sound.  Although a bit cookie cutter in terms of song-forms, Garbagio squeeze a lot of material into crawlspaces of their three-minutes songs.  From quick tempo changes to bits and pieces of punching guitar solo delivered at every break in vocal action, this EP keeps the action coming throughout.

After evoking the late-night moodiness of a rock club with a brief vamp, album opener “Lights Out” juxtaposes tight-knit guitar licks and looser vocal efforts.  This track somewhat represents the group’s lyrical chops, which can be a bit lacking.  A chorus reading “making love with the lights out” isn’t exactly enlightening and the group repeats a lot of basic phrases for the rest of the track, the phrase “I guess it’s something that I’ll never really ever understand” heralding in the final climax of the tune.  Perhaps later projects should see a bit more effort on lyric-writing, but considering the length, the lyrics don’t take too much away from this EP.  After building things up with some energetic vocal delivery, the band closes this track with a quick-fire guitar solo.

Next comes “OTOTW” (on top of the world), a tune that showcases the band’s ability to evoke both a care-free and somber mood.  The longing vocal melody that begins the track gives the uplifting lyricism a bit more weight as the person claiming to be “on top of the world” sounds more like they’re putting a front to hide what they’re going through.  Sonically, the band also impresses with a rapid tempo change and guitar solo in the back half of the track.  “Nobody Else” is somewhat of a break-up song: “When you said you love me, when nobody else would.”  Again we see a bit of mixed emotions as the singer continuously yelps out “nobody else” in a fun way throughout the rather dark track.  Finally, “Lightning” finishes things out nicely with some sharp vocal melodies.

Besides a bit of improvement lyrically, on the next effort, Garbagio may also look to stretch out their song forms a bit more.  Considering their playing chops, the group certainly has the ability to craft some droney jam sessions and play a bit more with space and ambience.  Obviously, it’s easy to go overboard but a few big, spacey tunes can add a lot to the flow of an album.

Overall, the EP is certainly a great place for the band.  They clearly have talents for putting interesting songs together with biting instrumental moments and fun choruses.  Hopefully a bit of development takes place before the next effort, but by emphasizing a collective playing style, they’ve carved enough of a niche in psychedelic indie rock to stand out, which indicates a high level of talent.

-Donovan Burtan

7.5/10

hear/purchase via bandcamp: https://garbagindex.bandcamp.com/releases

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