Hanging By A Thread (2012)


Recorded in The Red Room at
Cue Recording Studios, Falls Church, VA
Engineered and Mixed by Blaine Misner
Mastered by Bill Wolf
Featuring: Mark Bower (Organ and Piano)

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Review courtesy of Anthony Marcavage:

"Hanging By A Thread, the debut album of beltway band Round About, is a sonic journey along the murky boundaries of pop, rock, and alt-country. What strikes the listener first is the variation. The record opens with Partners in Crime, a driving rocker, followed by the Spanish-tinged I’ll Be Gone and a couple of poppy numbers, and then reaches its alt-country core with The Bed’s Getting Colder and The Letter. This cycle then loosely repeats itself until the record ends with another surprise – the acoustic break-up song February. All of this is pleasing to the ear, but the listener might ask what exactly this band wants to be. 

Further listens begin to answer this question, however, as the themes that bind this musical buffet emerge. The most important trend is the signature style of frontman Patrick Garrity, whose deft writing delicately presents the longings and tensions of his characters, a motley group of guys and gals who are indeed hanging by a thread. With the exception of February, Garrity’s writing is not sad, but it is often melancholy, as in the title track, where the narrator describes his designs and intentions, yet the chorus reminds us that gravity has got it in for us all. Likewise in the anthem Price of Admission, where the female hero, reflecting on the choices that have marked her life, ponders the big question – “What if she was wrong?” Garrity reminds us of the human condition’s daily battle between loneliness and solitude, and though his characters often come up short, they appear stronger for the fight. Also worthy of mention are the two tracks written by bassist Dave Mehring – I’ll Be Gone and Close to Home –  which represent a nice change of pace but not of attitude. Mehring adds his own melodic touch, but stays within the lines drawn by Garrity. 

Another unifying theme is the playing of lead guitarist Will Potts*. Potts is the sunshine to Garrity’s storm, and reminds listeners that it’s only music after all, and music is fun. Potts' playing is worthy of your attention throughout, but he shines on Grateful For a Glance with a soaring pop-rock solo begging for a stadium PA and Price of Admission, where he offers a quintessential modern blues-rock solo. His rollicking switch to perfectly toned honky tonk on Last Call is also noteworthy. Besides the obvious technical proficiency, Potts excels at realizing Garrity and Mehring’s musical visions for each song.

Hanging By A Thread is an ambitious, slick record accessible to anyone who likes a good groove. For the fan who likes to really listen to music, however, the album presents more. Much more."  

(*Our buddy and first lead guitarist Will left the band in mid-2012 to go to business school; we're thrilled this album documents his substantial contributions). 

 

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