In the world of alternative music, The Greeting Committee is a band on the rise, ready to make it big any moment. The Kansas City based group released their first EP in 2015 when the members were still all in high school. By the time their second EP released in 2017, they were starting to take note. They toured with Jukebox the Ghost earlier this year and had some national airplay on alternative stations. Their debut album, “This Is It” (2018), feels like The Greeting Committee was going for it all. However, it also feels as if they were not fully ready to take it all.
The album’s opening track, “Is This It?” (Track 1), gives the listener a mixture of instruments served with vocals that feel both gentle and raw. Throughout the album, the group tests the grounds with many sounds. In earlier tracks like “Pull It Together” and “You’ve Got Me” (Tracks 2 and 4), the group uses both brass instruments and gospel back-up vocals to create an odd, jazzy sensation. However, the album switches back to a more traditional indie sound with the track “17” (Track 5). In the latter half of the album, the sound is more grounded with the piano, heard in tracks like “More” (Track 6), and the guitar, heard in tracks like “Run For Your Money” and “Flint” (Tracks 7 and 9). The album concludes with the fast-paced and rock-ish “Don’t Go” (Track 12).
The biggest problem with “This Is It” is that an album like this is not the place to drastically experiment with their sound. On their EPs, especially their second EP, they sound like they have a firm grasp of the kind of music they want to make and what their sound is. They completely toss this out the window with the first half of this album. The gospel vibe and brass instruments do not sound as strong as their indie sound heard in their EPs. The biggest issue about this is that after “17” (Track 5), this sound does not appear again on the album. It feels as if the group themselves got tired of the sound halfway through the album and wanted to go back to familiar ground. When the album goes back to its indie sound, the album is great. Tracks like “More” and “Flint” (Tracks 6 and 9) are much more confident and consistent to what The Greeting Committee is known for. While it is good to test out some new sounds every now and then, all the gospel sound does is make the entire album sound unsure about itself.
The Greeting Committee’s “This Is It” is a really good album. The problem is that the album as a whole proves that The Greeting Committee has a lot to improve on. The Greeting Committee has the potential to be what Young the Giant and Vampire Weekend are. However, in order to reach the mountain top, The Greeting Committee needs to be more confident in how they want to sound.
Recommended If You Like: Vampire Weekend, Jukebox the Ghost, Grouplove
Recommended Tracks: 6 (More), 9 (Flint), 12 (Don’t Go)
Do Not Play: 2 (Pull It Together), 4 (You’ve Got Me)
Written by Graham Wilhauk on 11/10/2018