Overlord Delivers 21st Century Indie Rock with a Nod to the 60s and 70s

24 Jan

Overlord is a Brooklyn-based, four-piece band that delivers highly satisfying indie pop-rock with a vintage flavor. The band’s latest album, The Well-Tempered Overlord,” is brimming with high-energy, catchy power pop-rock in the style of songs that were cranked out by the songwriting factories of the 1960s and 1970s. And that’s not a bad thing! Places such as NYC’s Brill Building (recently popularized in an album title by the New Pornographers) and Don Kirshner’s Aldon Music (the subject of the Carole King musical, Beautiful) knew how to craft great songs. And Overlord certainly does in this, its sixth full-length album.

Arrangements in The Well-Tempered Overlord are fresh — never formulaic — with compelling lyrics, strong lead vocals, and rich harmonies reminiscent of 60s acts such as the Beach Boys or Monkees. The songs make good use of both guitars and synths, with solid rhythm tracks that drive the tunes forward.

Track highlights: The band starts off by immodestly suggesting “You’re Gonna Love This One.” Jangly guitars, skittering synths and a relentless beat pump this into a true pop-rock anthem. “Mission to Mars” comes next, featuring straight-ahead pop-rock with a dynamic bass line and a harmonized chorus that definitely reminds me of the Monkees’ “Pleasant Valley Sunday” — written by Carole King and Gerry Goffin. Incidentally, you should check out the accompanying music video, featuring a little boy who grows up to live out his dream (with an unexpected ending).

Track 4 of the ten-song set, “Interior World,” demonstrates Overlord’s expertise with well-mannered (well-tempered?), yet dramatic, chamber pop — complete with chime-y guitar and dazzling synth orchestration. “Incredibly Human” is up-tempo rock with a march-like rhythm and stingers at the end of each verse. And Track 9, “Give Up your Dreams,” has guitar work similar to The Hollies or any of a number of bands from the 1960s. The songs don’t sound old — they’re definitely a part of the 21st century; they simply pay homage to an earlier era responsible for such great music.

This album is absolutely worth your time — check it out!

 

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