Born In The Flood released its first full-length album on Morning After Records, If This Thing Should Spill, on February 9 with a huge CD release party at the Gothic Theater. I’ve seen this four piece a number of times, opening for The Walkmen and DeVotchKa, and always enjoyed their electric piano thrown-in to add something different to the equation.
Since their start in 2002, Born in the Flood has built enough of a following to headline their own shows at the previously-mentioned Gothic, as well as The Bluebird Theater.
The album starts off with the appropriately-titled “Intro,” which sounds like an atmospheric outtake from The Walkmen’s first album. The lyrics center around “the heart,” which is not surprising as the rest of the album predominantly deals with people’s troubles with relationships.
From that point, the band jumps into the chugging rock of “There And Missing,” a catchy tune with a unique structure. It also shows off the vocal ability of frontman Nathaniel Rateliff, who goes from a croon to a falsetto to a rasp within the course of each verse and chorus as the band thumps along behind him.
“Another Night, Another Place” brings back the croon and a track that opens with quiet electric piano and has shades of recent Britpop in its melody. “Motor Powered Man,” probably the strangest song here, starts out with murky piano and guitar and constantly teases at something huge before building into a roaring explosion.
“Anthem” is probably the lowest point on the album. I’m not entirely sure if this is tongue-in-cheek or not, but it sounds like the band tried to write a U2 song and then named it “Anthem.” It starts out with those familiar guitars and rolls into the chorus “This is the anthem/I hope you can hear me.” After some pleasant surprises thus far in the disc, the lyrics and tune on this one are a huge letdown in their banality.
“The End Of Me” could pass as a recent Twilight Singers song with its depressive chorus and slow build to a screamed chorus, while “I’ll Lead Them Out” ends the album with one more Coldplay-esque piano tune (there are 3-4 mixed in between the rock tunes).
Born In The Flood’s best work is still ahead of them, but this is a solid first album for the group. If you like any of the bands I mentioned above, you’ll find something enjoyable here.
The group performs with other Denver indie stars, The Photo Atlas, as the latter also celebrates with CD release at Lifespot this Saturday, March 31.