Words By: Alleen Hughes
Off Road Minivan - ‘Spiral Gaze’ EP
Tooth & Nail Records
February 16, 2018
It may still be early into this year’s new releases but Off Road Minivan have placed themselves in a contending spot for top EPs of the year with their most recent 4 track EP, ‘Spiral Gaze.’ Each song is filled with moody bass tones, clean yet heavy vocals and prominent guitar riffs that you can feel in your bones. The EP mixes alt-rock with some shoe gaze and holds tight from start to finish.
The opening song is the EP's title track and the somber vibe pulls listeners immediately in. Each component to this intro track is mastered well and gives vocalist Ryan “Tuck” O’Leary an opportunity to showcase his smooth vocal ability. Instrumentally, “Spiral Gaze” is airy and mellow but has the right balance of pick ups without overthrowing the melancholy mood. The band’s solemn approach stays consistent when flowing into the next track, “Light Up The Room.” O’Leary’s harmonies are sleek at the right times but still can maintain stability when projected in a chapped nature.
Although “Glow” is the catchiest track of the four, the vocal intro is not the best. But that is only the first 20 seconds or so before the song is revived with similarities you heard on the preceding tracks. The remaining 4 ½ minutes are filled with some of the EP’s best chord structure. All cards are laid out on the table towards the track’s conclusion that takes you back to your early 2000’s emo phase and tearful nights listening to The Juliana Theory. “17 Years” is the final chance for Off Road Minivan to keep or lose a fan and if you’re a fan of Balance and Composure, then the hefty bass riffs will make this track your favorite of the four.
It’s been a while since I've been able to say Tooth & Nail have something precious on their hands. They’ve kind of fallen off over the years but I think 'Spiral Gaze' from Off Road Minivan gives me a whole new outlook on the future of the label. In this style of music, band’s strive to leave a mark on the genre but are only able to trace along the lines. Off Road Minivan have made their mark in their own way and these four songs are only the beginning.
- Spiral Gaze
- Light Up The Room
- 17 Years