Tumbler’s “You Said” shows off the band’s range of musical styles, perhaps a little too much
Describing their latest output as, “an album of simple songs laced with lyrical and musical muscle,” Tumbler’s “You Said,” is just that with a whole lot more that’s left unsaid. It’s also a surprisingly rich output from this father-son combo in Richard and his son Harry Grace. Joining the two is veteran British musician Dave Needham.
What’s amazing is how the difference in ages between the Graces, in particular, doesn’t seem to effect the quality of the music in any way at all. It’s not easy for an older person and a teenager to agree on anything, and yet, here’s an entire album featuring both their contributions presented in a way that’s strikingly modern.
The band’s sound will likely draw similarities to bands like The Kinks, Soul Asylum or the Gin Blossoms. Before even hearing the songs, some of the titles are dripping with intrigue. Titles such as “Sleepy Bananas Are Cool” and “Dead Man’s Bones,” in particular.
The album has solid pacing from track to track, as well. Whereas one song might be soft and slow, the next will be heavier. That’s never more evident than going from the whimsical “London Girl” into the hard-as-nails rocker “Businessman Blues,” which doesn’t really sound like a blues track, instead opting more for a rock n’ roll sound with a fun guitar solo, deep vocals and that kick-ass attitude to it.
There’s more softer songs than heavier ones throughout the album, however. So, if you’re looking for a heavy dose of rock or blues, you probably won’t find that here. I also found myself asking if certain segments of songs sounded like the Beatles or not, enough where it’s worth mentioning that there are remnants of the Fab Four here, even if they are faint touchstones.
The track “Break Or Fall” sounds the most like something you’d hear from a radio-ready soft rock band. It pulls the emotional strings with it’s vocals, especially. It sounds like a song you’d hear during a montage in a romantic comedy movie starring Jennifer Aniston.
One thing you’ll notice with these guys is that the style of songs they included on this album can vary greatly, often depending on who’s singing. When the younger-sounding man is singing, the song around him sounds a lot more modern. But, when the older singer is taking the microphone, the song around him sounds a bit more traditional. For instance, if you were to listen to the tracks “Businessman Blues,” and then “Flowers and Miracles” back-to-back, you might not even realize that it’s the same group playing both of them.
Both songs have plenty of good things going for them, but they just don’t sound as if they both belong on the same album.
However, if that’s the worst anyone can say about this album, then it’s not that bad, all things considered. It’s a strong package of music performed amazingly well. Even if you don’t think all the songs fit together well, you’ll likely find at least one or two tracks that you enjoy, no matter what kind of music you enjoy.
For more on Tumbler, check them out on Soundcloud here.