St. Ranger Life Coach EP Release Party At The Rhythm Room

I first heard St. Ranger when they played an opening slot for The Whisperlights CD release party at the Duce and I was stunned—I hadn’t even heard of them before, much less heard their music. I’ve caught them live a couple times since and each time, I’m impressed at how they just continually get better. Last month they released their debut five song EP, Life Coach through their bandcamp site, it will receive its official physical release on February 16th. I was pretty impressed by their single last spring of “Ohnowoe/Shark Week” but the five new songs they present here take their sound to entire new levels.

St. Ranger makes no bones about their influences, which self admittedly includes The Beach Boys, Grizzly Bear and Animal Collective. Opening track “It’s ‘Appening” makes this clear from the start with gauzy vocals, dreamy pop hooks, stunning harmonies, complex arrangements and an all together unique sound that stands out from their peers. This is great music for late at night or early in the morning or so late at night that it has become the morning. “Tranquilo” keeps the vibe going right and it becomes apparent that they are manifesting their own signature sound, the entire EP is steeped deep in it, working to define their sound as much as their sound defines them. The vocal work is simply amazing as what at first sounds like “Try, try, try, take it easy” intertwine over and over again, to become “Tra, ahh, ahh, n-quilo, Tra, ahh, ahh, n-quilo…” in fine psychedelic fashion, all the while recalling Sunflower/Surf’s Up era Beach Boys. Brilliant. 

“Take all the time that you need and soon you’ll see what you mean to me…” begins the next song, “Take Time” and it’s not long until they launch into more vocal play, ceaselessly beautiful harmonies and an ending that reveals that they are more than a little familiar with everything in the Wilson brothers catalog. “Smoke/Soaked” would not seem at all out of place on the last few Animal Collective releases as it dazzles the ears with the layers of ephemeral sound swirling around your head in dizzying circles: “Sad to say I love you, but tonight, tonight, tonight, I sleep alone,” and from there it fades off into glory. The EP finishes with a live favorite of mine, “Lava” which is the perfect set closer and finale on the EP, short and sweet, the song serves almost as a coda to the rest, reminding the listener of all the perfect places in sounds we’ve just been during the last 23 minutes. An amazing end to an amazing little record.

It may have been dropped online in December, but it’s an early consideration for one of the best records of 2012 as Life Coach will see official release this week. Now granted, due to a problem with the printing process they won’t have the vinyl editions of the EP for sale, so they’ve reduced the price of the show to $5 and they’ve assured me that they will make sure that those who go will get their vinyl as soon as it can be gotten to them, but more importantly, it’s going to be a hell of a show. St. Ranger will have support from Dream Sick (from Tucson), Aaron F and one of my new favorite bands Instructions (be sure to stay tuned this week for more on them on this very same blog). So come out to the Rhythm Room and show your support for one of the brightest young bands emerging on our already bountiful scene.

St. Rangers Official Website