The Bystanders self titled ep is in high rotation at my place and for good reason. It’s one of the most well written ep’s I have ever heard. It’s produced my local songwriter JJ Voss. The Bystanders and Voss worked hard to put out a near perfect product.
I once cringed when Davin told me there was going to be trumpets on their ep’s first track ‘Listen Between Breaths’ during their cd release show. I told him I hated horns in music. That’s typically correct in most situations but Davin just chuckled and said he was interested to hear what I had to say once I’d heard it. I was pleasantly surprised when Cheney Lambert joined them on stage with his trumpet as it was a perfect accent to an already amazing song. Judd’s sincere vocals talk of the classic boy/girl push-pull situation. Who hasn’t had these lyrics run through their head even before hearing this song?
“If you ever choose, if you ever do decide, I’ll be waiting here in your rearview for your gaze to meet my eyes.”
The Bystanders join you in that feeling and we join them in the nicely added gang vocals at the end of the song.
Producer JJ Voss really does have a wonderful ear. He knows how to take something substantial a band has brought to the table and really bring out it's potential. He told me once over drinks that an instrument should always have it’s place and that an instrument should never get buried in the mix. This is apparent when Laura Roddick lends a hand on the piano in ‘Listen Between Breaths’ or with the according part in ‘Last One To Go’. Accordions are often overpowering and nauseating, let alone out of tune. How many family polka things have you been to when this apparent? The accordion on ‘Last One to Go’ done stunningly. Corey Rhiendel (bass) and Nathan Streiful (drums) are a smooth and eloquent rhythm section that keeps the song flowing while they almost hypnotize you.
On the last track of the record ‘Broken Highway’ Davin Stachoski takes over as lead vocalist with his calm cool vocal style in this fun jaunt paced song. Nathan steps up again and he punches in the drums with a march type feel. This song captivates me each time and leaves me day dreaming as it has very film drama kind feel. The kind of song that makes you think about life as Davin’s vocals draw pictures in your mind. It’s a fantastic ending a phenomenally done record on all accounts.
My only problem with it is that it leaves me wanting more. Damn you Bystanders, get on that full length record!
Be sure to listen below so you yourself can hear what I am talking about.