It is evident both from the band's self-descriptions, and the tracks themselves, that Barons in the Attic are an ambitious, blood, sweat, and tears type of band who love what they do. This group walks the line between folk and harsher rock sounds, but with some songs succeeding far more than others in either genre category. That being said, there is something to enjoy and appreciate in each song, such that this eleven track album never bores.
On the harsher end of the spectrum, Barons in the Attic reminds me of a lot of up-and-coming bands I've heard in basements, and I mean that as a compliment. The members of this quartet each clearly have a high level of facility on their instruments, but rather than just showing off their technical abilities, they demonstrate sensitivity and an interest in creating emotionally moving soundscapes. The guitar solos, for example, often take their time using high pitched sustains to create tension. Dylan DePice, the drummer, plays complex, fast-paced rhythms at times, but knows when a simple beat would be preferred. On a particularly catchy track, "Julia," he plays snare hits on every beat while Aaron Wilson sings, "She said I was the root of all evil," making for a powerful moment. On the other hand, I could probably do without the "oo-oh, oo-oh" vocals towards the end of this track. Much like the ascending trumpet scales at the very end of "Title Credits," this vocal moment comes across a little cheesy. In spite of this fact, "Title Credits for a 90's Sitcom," which does sound a bit like it's title suggests, is one of my favorite songs on the album. It sounds entirely different from every other track.
And therein lies the real impressive quality of this band: they succeed fairly well in at least four genre categories. I'd typically advise any musical group to be careful juggling too many genres since perfecting quality of sound in any genre takes time and dedication. An overly ambitious, experimental band often spread themselves too thin over too many genres. For this reason, Turn It Off and Take Out the Battery contains one or two tracks, such as "London," which don't quite succeed in their genre. Still, Barons in the Attic have managed to write at least one high quality song in the categories of hard rock, pop, folk and alternative rock (in my opinion, these songs are "In a Nutshell," "Title Credits," "Down Together" and "The Rulebook," respectively). If you're intrigued by this band, I'd suggest picking your favorite of these genres and listening to the song I've listed for it.
3. In A Nutshell
4. Hudson Valley Top Doctor
5. Title Credits for a 90's Sitcom
7. Down Together
9. Rat on the Tracks
10. The Rulebook
11. Upstate Song