- Stephanie Lynn Lister
Seasons in Reverse
with the Pauses, Saskatchewan, Surfin Serf
8:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 1
Will’s Pub, 407-898-5070
While their debut, House of Stairs, entailed the long ripening period of a careful young band finding its legs, Orlando indie-rock act Great Deceivers approached their sophomore album with unity, rigor and a finish-line mentality. Coming promptly a year after their last release, Seasons in Reverse was recorded at the rising North Avenue Studios in Orange City and was created using a democratic writing process and the disciplined methodology of a working band. The result, like the process, is more focused and direct.
Certain signature traits linger, like the sweet, reclined wafts of their distinctive Southern sadcore mien and the airy, intimate comfort of Max Green’s voice. But, as their live shows have demonstrated for the past year, their mood-weaving rock is distinctly bigger now, with a thicker frame and more flesh. Moreover, the quiet complexity that’s always been part of their constitution is more salient this time out. The arrangements are more dynamic and technically assertive, a natural development considering that many of their members actually have pedigrees in much heavier rock bands. Although stylistic-ally different, the Deceivers’ easy-sipping flow belies a great deal of instrumental intricacy, much like their pals the Pauses.
The best moments of Seasons in Reverse include the deep, lovely sigh of “Plea for Reprieve,” the atmosphere-rich dream of “Silver Thumbs” and the almost dire spires of “Ebb Without Flow.” In a literal change of pace for the typically torpid band, the fetchingly nimble “Cardinal Direction” actually breaks into a healthy pop gallop, working beautifully enough to give the album its brightest star.
Even when they first emerged, it was clear the Great Deceivers were born mature. But on Seasons in Reverse, they’re truly growing up, musically and emotionally. The band’s evolution here is both manifest and smart. And it’s a strong sound whose improvement is impressive enough to evoke eager wonder over what heights this still-blossoming band will hit next.