The Ease
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The Ease

Band Alternative Rock

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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


""Destined for greater press coverage...""

"I’m issuing a public service warning message about The Ease. Music fans need to see them live now, as many times as they can, before a major label snaps them up and Ticketmaster starts charging eighty gazillion dollars a ticket. Then, because most music fans can’t afford even the cheap seats at a mere fifty gazillion, those fans will be stuck listening to cheesy morning shows on Top 40 Radio to try to win tickets. Morning after morning, bleary-eyed Ease fans will have to listen to the mindless blather and lame humor of Mitch and Morgan, or Stu and Stacy, or Mork and Mindy or whatever superhip, consumer-tested radio announcer monikers they’ve hung on themselves that week, until those listeners finally snap and hurl their stereos into traffic, causing massive pileups and utter chaos. And all because you music fans didn’t go see The Ease live while they’re still indie. Shame on you.

Sorry. I’m back. Evil Jennifer has gone away, and Sane Jennifer is going to review Awkward Moments, the new CD by The Ease.

This pop/rock quartet manages to gracefully stroll along a very fine line. They mind the mainstream when writing their songs, but they never slip into American Idol-style pandering. They are ready for radio, but they don’t really sound like anyone else I’ve heard on the radio, except that lead vocalist and guitarist Luke Sheets has a voice that blends David Bowie and Bono.

Take the opening track, "Holiday." Jangly music, strong harmony, and happy lyrics that giddily describe sunny faces and better places without sounding like a teen boyband or a commercial for the Nashville Tourism Board. These guys are talented enough to be versatile with their music and challenging in their songwriting. Chad Morgan provides lush, warm, gorgeous piano chords on tracks like "Gravy." In "What You Wanted," the bass gets to take the wheel as Brandon McDonald shows what he can do. The band can rock with a percussion-heavy U2 vibe (courtesy of drummer Justin Benner), and they can weave in and out of the acoustic realm ("Save Up"). From one song to the next, they glide from dreamy flowing to electric intensity. They even explore the sensually ominous in "Twitch." There’s a lot going on here. Each track is unique without losing the band’s identity.

The emotions get strange sometimes. The music of "Happy" is gloomy, and Sheets sounds like he’s about to hurl himself off a bridge. But the lyrics are practically joyous. ("I’m so happy, I can’t stop all my foolish grinning, my head from spinning...") But in the very next track, they show that when they really are miserable, they don’t hold back:

Make me feel simple-minded and thick
and you’re so perfect, it makes me feel sick
and you’re so perfect, your words are pristine
and you’re so perfect, my mouth is obscene....

Some therapy may be in order. At any rate, this is a solid, professional, and exciting project from a band destined for greater press coverage than those provided by indie web sites. In the meantime, get to their live shows. This is a band to keep tabs on."
- indie-music.com- Jennifer Layton


""The most listened to album I've received...""

"With a canon of muscular pop sensibilities and a grasp of decent songwriting, The Ease (Luke Sheets, Chad Morgan, Brandon McDonald and Justin Benner) have been compared to the likes of Doves, Interpol and Jim Morrison, but a closer comparison would be the underrated Catherine Wheel with vocalist Luke Sheets flexing his gritty Rob Dickinson sounding voice throughout 'Awkward Moments'.

There's real depth on the heavier tracks like the opening gauntlet of 'Speechless' the catchy melody of 'What You Wanted', and a deft touch of restraint on the acoustic dominated numbers 'Happy' and 'Cigarette'. The quality control maintains on the driving 'Confidence', but sometimes it does play like "spot the influence" as 'Gravy' heads towards Coldplay territory with chiming guitars and sombre piano whilst 'Twitch' begins remarkably like PJ Harvey circa 'Is This Desire?' with creepy bass before exploding on the choruses.

But that's not to downplay just how solid each track is, The Ease strength lies in soaring choruses, gritty guitars and writing a memorable hook. Admittedly I found too many quieter introspective tracks scattered throughout, such as the dirge-like 'Save Up' breaking the flow between the excellent 'Twitch' and 'What You Wanted'. I found the noisier; more energetic songs are the band's forte, but when the acoustic tracks work, as on 'Gravy' the results are worthwhile, and even touching.

I'm not going to start writing hyperbolic quotes, but 'Awkward Moments' is the most listened to album that I've received from a band to date, and that's a good indicator on how highly I rate the album."
- entertainment.inuk.com


Discography

Awkward Moments; 2004

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

The Ease was formed in the spring of 2003. They list primary influences as Radiohead, The Longpigs, Dave Matthews Band, Coldplay, and The Dismemberment Plan. The Ease differ from other bands by doing everything possible better.