After releasing one of the best local albums, hell best albums period of 2011, Buffalo's Americana rockers Roger Bryan & the Orphans return with a short collection of music in Stop to Start. The four track EP, sure to keep most Orphans fans happy until a proper full length follow up is dropped, was recorded at Orphans' guitarist Matt Smith's Hi Lo Studio. Returning are the same cast of characters - Bryan on vocals and guitar, Smith on guitar, Erik Roesser on guitar, Ryan Besch on bass, and Mike Sobieraj on drums - releasing a stellar follow up to last year's thrilling 37.
Where the EP lacks in length, clocking in at less than 13 mins of music, the quality most certainly makes up. The first single, the EP's lead off title track, at first sounds like a cut off Bryan and Roesser's former band, the slightly poppier Old Sweethearts, until the Orphans' signature crunchy guitar attack kicks in and Bryan's angsty vocals break through, reminding you that yes, this is an Orphans record after all. The mid tempo "Two Hours" is the perfect compliment to 37 standout "Fastener" with great, subtle harmonies, while Bryan's front and center vocals usher in the exhilarating "The War," sounding like a long lost track off Wilco's debut record A.M.
Like 37, Start to Stop wears it's influences on it's sleeve from power pop forefathers in Big Star and the Replacements to roots rockin peers in the aforementioned early era Wilco and Ryan Adams. Bryan's vocals sound especially Adams esque on the EP, never more so than on the slow and sad closer "Blue Jeans." Like a prize fighter at the end of the ropes, Bryan sounds as beaten and battered down as ever as the tense tune slowly builds, but never quite bursting like 37's "Anchors," rather showing a wonderful restraint that a less seasoned band may not.
Stop to Start is currently available to stream in full at the Orphans' bandcamp page or you can purchase the EP beginning tomorrow here. In the mean time, check out the short video directed by Sobieraj documenting the recording of Stop to Start.