Courtesy Tier: The Resolution

Originally posted on June 14, 2011

The ethos of indie rock is, unsurprisingly, independence; independence from constrictive major record labels, independence from being confined by perceived genre norms. The Courtesy Tier have definitely embraced this ethos in their first full-length album, The Resolution, which they recorded at home and have preliminarily released themselves (the official release was May 26 at Pianos).

Each of the nine songs on the album are unmistakably rock, but with subtle influences from other styles that set them apart from standard rock songs. “Rescue,” with its jaunty repeating guitar riff, drone, and tricky vocal turn has an old-school country vibe, while “Just Like You” is more post-punk in style, with floating riffs and vocal harmonies that give it an ethereal feel. With its bluesy verses and straight-up rock choruses, “Hey Bee” is probably the most rock-sounding track on the album.

Resolution opens with “Standing Near,” which has a nice contrast between minor-key verses and major-key choruses, and “Preaches” also features this verse/chorus contrast, with a slower, laid-back feel that gives way to a more aggressive sound in the chorus. “Alright Mama” is a kind of sweet, lyrical ballad, while “Morning Run” is lonely and brooding, and “Calling Out” has the most powerful, driving chorus on the album. The album ends with the low-key “Home,” which steadily builds tension until the end.

Check out Courtesy Tier day after tomorrow, June 16, 8:15pm, as part of the Northside Festival at Spike Hill, in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

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