Parade are a local band who started off doing
female voiced shoegaze a few years back. I really like that
kind of stuff, and i quickly became a fan of the band. Well,
in the intervening years they have evolved into a nice pop
band with intricately constructed songs.
The real gem of this
band, aside from the fact that they can write a catchy tune,
is the voice of singer Carrie Hodge. She is a small blonde
girl with a big voice. She sings in the mid-range, but covers
a lot of ground with what she does. I think that, in many
ways, Ms. Hodge sounds like what Maria McKee might have sounded
like had she not descended into the alt.country realm. Really
-- hearing Ms. Hodge sing is a treat.
That said, it's not as
if Parade are "her" band.
The sound on this EP is balanced -- no one element overpowers
the other, and no sound is lost in the mix. That's rather an
impressive feet of engineering from Eric Friar (also of Heroes
Severum), who managed to really capture their sound. So many
local discs are poorly recorded, so listening to this is a
very pleasant surprise.
Opening song That's Hott starts
with a martial drum riff, a staccato guitar wail, and Hodge's
voice mixed high and trebly (maybe layered too). This is a
classic indie girl rock song, moving along at a great start/stop
rhythm with nicely overdriven guitars. Towards the end, Ms.
Hodge is really pushing it -- singing loud over the distorted
guitar wail, the thundering bass, and the loud drumming. At
this point Parade really remind me of early Magnapop.
On Booths the
voice is lighter and the guitars are chimier and less distorted.
The bass lays down a really great rhythm, and in general this
is a nice light song that builds to a cacophonous climax.
a classic pop song about, well, stalking. (But aren't all really
great pop tunes about stalking someone?) Here Parade adds a
few flourishes -- cello, some laptopy sound effects -- over
their catchy melody. It's a really pretty song.
The oddly titled Sombrefas is
up next. It starts similarly to Hunting,
except that in the middle is swells very nicely: the bass thumps,
the drums clatter, the guitar strums, and Ms. Hodge really
lets loose. It gets good and loud.
Finally Parade wrap up their
second EP, and third release overall, with Lunch
This has a slight jazzy feel to it in that the guitar is noodling
while the drumming is light and the bass really carries the
rhythm. The song meanders along nicely like that for a while,
and then towards the end Ms. Hodge plays a simple piano riff
while positively belting out the words. Truly a beautiful moment.
Overall, i am impressed. This is a fine EP. Parade continue
to grow quite nicely, and i am very curious to see what they