With Join the Club, Dylan Sevey and the Gentlemen announced themselves to the Providence scene with a super-catchy pastiche of classic rock ideas. Their influences were clear, but trumped by the band’s efforts to step out from the shadows those influences cast. On their sophomore release, New Mischief, the Gentlemen may have the maps laid out by their heroes in mind, but it’s clear that they’ve begun forging their own path.
As principal songwriter, Dylan Sevey demonstrates an intrinsic knack for writing that old time rock and roll. Armed with a pop sensibility and more a confident vocal performance, Dylan proves to be a formidable frontman. As the first thing audiences will react to – the blessing and the curse of being the face of a band – he guarantees from the get go that they’re in good hands.
Showing similar signs of growth are Brendan Moore and David Ponte, keyboard and lead guitar respectively. Brendan’s keys feel more powerful than they did on the last record, standing out early and often on New Mischief as a vital part of The Gentlemen’s sound. Likewise, David’s guitar work is bolder by leaps and bounds. David’s virtuoso performance and Brendan’s excited work on the keys provide the one-two punch that take New Mischief to the next level.
But really, specific kudos aside, the band is operating in top form across the board. When I reviewed Join the Club I had suggested it played like a proof of concept and that their next record would be their statement of purpose and I’m glad to hear that that New Mischief turned out to be exactly that. If their first record and their consistent live performances hadn’t convinced you, this record will. Dylan Sevey and the Gentlemen have locked down their sound and they’re ready for some mischief.
“New Mischief” – eight minutes of big arrangements that give all of the boys a chance to show off.
“This Will Be the One That Kills Me” – Answering the question: can you slow jam classic rock?
“Bilgewater” – A Brown Bird cover that the late David Lamb would surely have been humbled by.