Settle – At Home We are Tourists
At Home We are Tourists is the first full length album from this eastern Pennsylvania band. These four guys have been together for a while though, and have a fair amount of experience, including winning MTV’s “Best Band on Campus” competition in 2007. From the opening track of this album Settle establishes themselves as a band with a knack for creating fun, danceable pop tunes.
A quick look at Settle’s Myspace page reveals a diehard fan base, which isn’t too surprising as their music has that “my favorite little garage band” feel. Pop-punk influences like Alakaline Trio or Jimmy Eat World are clear in their music, but Settle’s sound manages to set them apart from the other dozens of bands that fall into this genre. Indeed, the combination of clear musical talent on their strings and percussion with solid vocals (yes layered, but layered well) creates a tight sound normally earned by more seasoned musicians who have been playing together for years. Some songs even boast their willingness to play with more electronic sounds, most obviously in “ISO: 49yr old M W/ Kids seeks 26 yr old F W/O Kids.”
Settle also escapes the often trite adolescent tones that one might expect from the first album from a band with such obvious pop-punk sounds. The lyrics and themes are curiously insightful. In one of two slower songs on the album, “Sunday, Morning After,” lead singer Dave Goletz’s deep, full voice appropriately croaks “I used to think I’d have to stay a while but I don’t think you know who I am.” A nice whistling accompaniment follows and completes the nonchalant sentiments of the morning after a one night stand: emotions relatable and not often discussed in music without heavy broken-heartedness. One can also catch glimpses of softer, echoed vocals more associated with good 80’s pop in “On the Prowl” and they dabble with noise rock chaos in the track “Dance Rock is the New Pasture” just to shake off, or beat off, any accusations of easy pop melodies. Check out their Myspace page to get a better sample of the songs from their current album, which establishes them as a band whose ability to write good pop songs matches their clear musical talent.