Review Summary: The Chattanooga foursome debut with style
Making the jump from an EP to a debut album has caused many a promising band to stumble and fall into the gutters of misread potential; but every once in a while, better production and a grander scope will prompt a band to rise to the occasion, and create something that is truly worth sitting up and taking note. Rigoletto's debut album, Delusion's of Grandeur, is an amazing example of the latter.
The band comes out swinging on the album's opening track, and first single, "Queens Hotel." Blending the post-punk with classic-rock riffs, the song feels timeless in a way that doesn't simply imply throwback production, or anachronistic lyrics. As the album progresses, this sense of timelessness is constantly reinforced by both the music and the lyrics. The band's rhythm section, comprised of Chris William's molasses-thick bass lines and Kirk Ellis's intricate drumming, provides a formidable foundation for many of the songs, as Dave Griffis's guitar licks dance around the edges.
The best tracks on the album capture the band's quiet side as it intersects the intensity found in the rest of the album. The one-two punch of "Burlington" and "King" in particular show off the band's penchant for beautiful and catchy melodies, both in the softer moments, as well as when things get crazy.
Corey Snipes's spoken-and-sung vocals build upon the stellar instrumentals, imbuing the songs on Delusions of Grandeur with palpable emotion. Each track has its own story to tell, and they all play a unique and necessary role in giving the album a cohesive tone and narrative. Snipes wrote many of the songs in his time living in Queens, NY, and the wonderment and sense of space and size that accompanies any time spent in a city like New York, mingles with small-town heart-ache in a way that feels mythic in proportions, but entirely relatable and real.
Delusions of Grandeur solidifies Rigoletto as a band to watch. The Chattanooga foursome have crafted an album that crackles with emotion and an irresistible electricity. Fans of bands such as mewithoutYou and Brand new should keep a steady eye on Rigoletto, their debut is clearly something special, and they seem to be only just getting started.