The Summer Pledge
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The Summer Pledge

Waterford, Michigan, United States

Waterford, Michigan, United States
Band Alternative Rock


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"The Summer Pledge - "You Are You" review"

Sweeping distortion, spacey, ambient vocals, and a level of deep construction and introspection seldom heard on debut releases, You are You by The Summer Pledge is not easily classified. Elements of progressive rock, shoegazer, and pop fuse together perfectly to create a unique range of layered music that one can easily become lost in. The subtle, understated vocals of Dustin McLaughlin coupled with his deep and introspective lyrics revolve around coming of age (”Who are You”) and the fear of being locked in a soul sucking office job eternally (”Silver Choice”, “Lost in the Business World”). The beautifully deliberate beats of Rob Wilson back the wall of feedback and pulsing guitar and bass combination of Jeremy Damaske and Matt Conzett which are reminiscent of many great post-rock outfits.

The production is near flawless, with each song progressing to the next with no lull in between each beautifully crafted composition, a testament to the amount of time and work poured into You are You. Illustrating a talent for creative song structure and unconventional, enthralling instrumental composition creates a wall of sound enveloping pop/rock elements in a spiral of brilliance. Likely to be one of the most celebrated releases in the Detroit experimental music vein, You are You will catch listeners off guard, take them a myriad of different directions, and leave them enchanted. - Detroit Underground

"Poster Boys - The Summer Pledge Live at the Post Bar, Ferndale, MI - 20 August, 2009"

After a short but spirited set at Rochester's Gold Music and Arts Festival only days earlier, Detroit's spacey post-rockers The Summer Pledge made a lasting impression on the crowd at Ferndale's popular nightspot, the Post Bar. There were plenty of reasons for the crowd, who were packed in the small main floor area like sardines, to walk away satisfied: the roughly hour-long set was loud and the band was as energetic as I'd ever seen them, playing in front of a great deal of friends.

The Post isn't really a concert venue - it's a bar. There is no stage, no lighting, which doesn't make for a picture-friendly environment, so I wasn't able to capture any shots of the show, but my near-photographic memory hasn't failed me one bit.

Before the music kicked off, various members of the main act could be seen walking around the bar, including lead singer Dustin Mclaughlin who, surprisingly enough, recognized me and stopped to talk a bit. He thanked me for coming out and said they had an excellent, long set in store, though he admitted that my favorite song, "Lost In The Business World", was not going to be included, citing with a chuckle that though it was the first song they wrote together as a band, he thinks they actually get worse each time they perform it.

Prior to the main act, two bands from New York warmed up the crowd. First up was The Medicine Man, a four-piece experimental outfit that set the mood perfectly with their blend of psychedelic blues, alternative and post rock, and jazz. It's hard to describe their sound, but it's incredibly spacey, more like extended jam sessions, and has a very soulful, bluesy quality live.

Their opening set was nothing short of spectacular, and after the performance I greeted keyboardist Trevor Oswalt, who was kind enough to write down the band's setlist. Combining tracks from their two records, as well as a few new ones, the setlist may not be completely accurate as Trevor rewrote it from memory after they were done. However, according to the paper I have, it consisted of the songs "Stone Blind", "New White Moccasins", the new song "Big Bad Wolf", "Open Up And Breathe", "Lion Hunt", the title track from their latest record, "Forever Brother", and an unspecified Alice Coltrane cover. The setlist also lists "Tambour Moin Rele", but it's struckthrough with a question mark as Trevor honestly couldn't remember.

Whatever it actually contained, it was a fantastic opening set from an extraordinarily talented group of musicians. Songs were extended and fleshed out from their far more sparse recorded versions on the records, and it almost felt like watching a band just rehearse and experiment together. I was quite impressed; impressed enough to purchase both their debut album, Reverberations For Baby, and their newest, Forever Brother.

Up next were Ancient Sky who had been described as similar to The Summer Pledge. Unfortunately, I did not find this to be the case. Though the crowd certainly seemed into them, particularly the members of The Summer Pledge themselves, I just couldn't get into what I was hearing. I can't give a true and honest review, however, as my attention was also divided between their set and a conversation with an old friend who'd joined me for the show.

At the close of Ancient Sky's set, however, my attention was focused solely on The Summer Pledge - so much so that I didn't even mind when my friend headed home after their first song, "Silver Choice". Friends of the band stood at the front of the crowd, jumping around as best they could in the cramped confines of the bar, for the duration of the set. At various times, Mclaughlin ran around the outskirts of the crowd, playing his guitar up close and personal while friends playfully mussed his hair and at one point, he laid on his back in a classic rock 'n' roll maneuver.

The setlist was fairly evenly divided between songs from their stellar debut, You Are You, and new, as-yet-unreleased material. After opening with "Silver Choice", they moved into a song tentatively titled "Peacock". The band had previously explained to me that they've been naming many of their works in progress after random animals, so expect the title to change eventually. A rousing version of "Fences For Teeth" followed the new track, and I must say that the Post's meager sound system handled The Summer Pledge's extremely loud music very admirably. The echoes of the guitars, vocals, and even the most ferocious riffs were mixed clearly and audibly without losing any of the punch.

They played two more new tracks, "Dolphin" (another tentative title) and "Bloodclot", before a rare performance of "House Of Beds", which they dedicated to a friend who'd been requesting it for several shows. They closed the set out with the final new track, an amazing tune called "Beelzebub's Teeth", which is easily one of the best songs the band has written thus far in their young career and is high atop my own personal most wanted list.

Though only seven songs were performed, the extended nature of each track made for an incredible set. The Summer Pledge are masters of epic riffs and shifting rhythms. Nearly every song could be divided up into several separate tracks, but they managed to turn them into one coherent work. After being blown away by the live performance of the debut album at Mr. Sandman's Quadruple Album Release Prom back in June, there is now no question that they are the musical discovery of the year. I eagerly look forward to their new studio material, but seeing them live is an entirely different experience. The raw power of their music simply must be experienced in person. - Media Junkie

"Album Review - The Summer Pledge - You Are You"

The Summer Pledge’s debut album, is an audio canvas that the band has painted with a moody, atmospheric sound. The album blends together pleasantly to make a nearly interconnected opus from the first track through the eighth. The spacey sound carries through the album from start to finish, and each track is decorated with chiming guitar arpeggios, unconventional drum beats, captivating bass lines, and nostalgic lyrics. The recording itself is fantastic, and the layers of the instruments, effects, and vocals are skillfully constructed. The vocals sound slightly behind the mix giving the album a dreamy, outer space sound as the guitar riffs jingle through your ears, and the bass line carries each song through carefully landscaped changes. The album is on the shorter side, and with good reason so that not to lose a listener’s attention to long winded space jams. The title track of the album lends itself to stand alone, but some of the songs lack individuality outside of the album. These skilled musicians make You Are You exceptionally pleasurable to the ears, and even better if you listen to the album in its entirety. - Motor City Rocks

"The Summer Pledge - "You Are You" review"

The clasping feedback, percussive trounce, synthy flits and guitar roars of “Fences For Teeth,” the middle piece of You Are You, effectively demonstrates the Detroit collective’s flair for twinkly atmospherics, mellifluous guitars, and dream-gazer melodies spread over hard grinding guitars, onslaught drums and an overall focused sonic exertion. Never has such a tenseness felt so soothing, the way these tight picked, pedal fired guitars kaleidoscope in some post-rock jazz ballet over steady booming bass and drums that know when to go from heartbeats into piston pounds. It’s romantic, it’s soothing, it’s jolting, it’s expansive – heavy on atmospherics and drama, songs feel operatic, or even galactic, in scope. Songs range from quiet, introspective, to driving and dressy – foggy feedback swirls around in pensive meditations (“Who Are You?”) or all cylinders are firing, with buzzy vocals howled out with equaling vigor (“Lost in the Business World”). The beautiful guitar wizardry, wanderlust song structure and dreamy reverb sheen recalls the meticulous/experimentalism of post-rock, with a bit of indie and atmospheric space rock – a strong debut, strong in the sense of well constructed and well presented, but strong in its ability to disarm you like the punch of a dark roast coffee with three shots of espresso – it’s a journey.

-Jeff Milo/Real Detroit Weekly - Real Detroit Weekly


-"You Are You" CD, LP, cassette

"Recurring Dream" 7", cassette

Available soon!



"The Summer Pledge is a Detroit based five-piece that intertwines elements of progressive-indie and soul music with a dash of nostalgia to bring a unique breed of creatively established ideas, themes and sounds. Orchestrations both fluid and intricate create a dreamy and explosive storm. Organic landscapes illustrated through space rock supernovas, The Summer Pledge's dynamic sensations from notes in time that are both thoughtful and passionate. Conceived in the winter of 2007, the band has worked painstakingly to properly introduce their debut album. "You Are You" is a thematic, rhetorical narrative on the coming of age and contingency of the white and blue collar working class throughout the modern day economic decline."